Ecclesia is a community of faith that loves to serve our neighbours and bring life into all the places we live, work, study, and play. One of the ways we do this is through gathering each week to worship together. Over the last year, our worship gatherings have shifted, changed, and grown - so I thought it was time to share what you might expect if you were to join us on Sundays.
First of all, the details. We gather for worship at 4:30 pm each Sunday, at Northview Community Centre in Oshawa - located at 150 Beatrice St. Look for our signs in the blue hallway, and come in to say hello.
What can you expect? Well, you can expect a small gathering of folks wanting to go deeper in their spiritual journey. Some of us are people of deep faith and have been part of the Christian church for a long time. Others of us may be newer to our faith or asking questions about what it means to follow Jesus. And still others may be somewhere in the middle. No matter where you fall on that spectrum - expect to be welcomed into a loving space, and expect to be able to participate and belong.
Most of the time, we begin our time together with some singing, led by a guitar around a circle. This time will also probably include some prayer, some readings from the Bible, and maybe some other words from our leaders. Then, we take some time to unpack a few verses from the Bible together. Our pastor, Jana Koh - or sometimes, another voice - will read from the Bible and share a bit about what God is saying through that passage. Then, we usually have some time for questions, comments - even things that confuse us or that we aren’t quite sure about.
All of us around the circle will have the opportunity to reflect and share our thoughts together, as much or as little as we feel comfortable. For some of us, we may jump at the chance to tackle some big questions together and seek out answers. For others of us, it may feel a little intimidating, or we may prefer to listen and glean from others’ thoughts as we process our own. And, again, some will fall in the middle. Of course, if you’re there with us on a Sunday evening, we want to hear from you - but we’ll understand and respect your silence if you don’t feel comfortable jumping in right away.
Then, we’ll participate in a special moment called Communion. In communion, we eat bread and drink wine (well, for us it will be “wine”…and by that we mean grape juice) to symbolize the body and blood of Jesus Christ in his sacrifice for us. We remember Jesus’ great gift of grace and salvation for our behalf. We actually get to taste and see how good our great God is. For those who aren’t used to this, it might sound strange - but as we grow to understand how God moves in this moment, it will take on more and more meaning for us as a community of faith together. In our celebration of Communion, you are welcome to participate or not; it’s okay to watch until you understand a bit more of what’s going on, or you can jump right in with us.
Then, we’ll end with a bit more singing, we’ll bless each other, and we’ll be on our way.
This is what most gatherings look like - but we do like to mix it up from time to time. While the time and place always remains the same, sometimes we’ll share a meal together while we talk about the Bible. Sometimes we engage in some more creative ways to worship, like praying through music, or listening to God through art, or engaging in some spiritual disciplines. We believe that God can speak into our lives and that we can worship Him in many different ways - not just through the words of our pastor. So, we like to engage our senses, our hearts, and our minds when we gather together.
We hope we’ll see you on a Sunday evening sometime soon! Again - if you’d like to join us, head over to Northview Community Centre in Oshawa every Sunday at 4:30!