What to Expect

Your First Visit

Everyone is welcome to attend and experience our worship service. It doesn’t matter if you have no religion, are of another religion of if you’ve simply never been to Church before. You will be treated with dignity and your privacy will be respected. We invite you to complete a Visitor’s Card if you would like to connect further with our Church ministry.

When You Arrive

When you arrive in the building, either at the front or the side door, you will be greeted by a Church volunteer who will welcome you and give you a bulletin or “Order of Service”. You will be directed up the stairs to the sanctuary. A “welcomer” is usually on hand to greet newcomers and answer questions about the service or the Church.

Finding Your Way Around Our Church

We have special names to denote various places within the Church. Here are a few to get you started:

The room where worship is held Sanctuary
The “performance” area in the sanctuary Chancel
Sunday school (traditional term for Sunday morning children’s worship) Children’s Program
Large room below the sanctuary Gathering Room


We are delighted to welcome children into our worship experience. We offer a Children’s Program from September to June. Infants under 3 are cared for in our Nursery by a nursery aide or, if you prefer, they may stay with you for the service. Children older than 3 begin the service with their family and then are invited by our minister to come to the front of the Church for a “storytime” which includes a tale or lesson related to a scripture reading from the service. On some Sundays, the children leave with a teacher for the Children’s Program which normally involves games and crafts in the Gathering Room downstairs. You may accompany your child if you wish. On other Sundays, children's activities are provided at the front of the sanctuary. The Events Calendar identifies those Sundays when the Children's Sunday School program is offered.

The Bulletin (“Order of Service”)

Everything you need to know about our Sunday morning service is listed in the Bulletin.

Generally, when something is written in boldface type that means the entire congregation is to speak the words in unison, also called a “response”.

Bible Readings

There are usually two or three readings from the Bible each Sunday. The Sermon is related to one of the readings and generally the choir’s anthem is also.

Music and Singing

We stand up for all hymns unless the Bulletin says “please remain seated”. If you are unable to stand, feel free to remain seated. Our hymns are in the hymnbook in the pew but the words are often also displayed on an overhead screen.


We celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of the month. The sacrament is open to everyone. If you are not comfortable, or feel you don’t understand the ritual well enough to take part, just stay in your seat. If you want to take part, just follow the lead of the people sitting around you.

The Offering

The offering is an act of worship for Christians. It is a symbol of our belief that everything we have comes from God. It is also an act of generosity. Offerings support the ministry of our own Church (including staff remunerations) and various ministry programs across Canada and throughout the world which help others. Visitors are not forced to participate, and you certainly may let the offering plate pass you by or you may choose to contribute.

Coffee Time

Following the service, we gather for coffee and conversation downstairs in the Gathering Room. If you are a newcomer, please stay and join us. You will have a chance to mingle with other folks and meet some of our Ministry team.

Special Needs

Carlisle United Church has a lift at the side of the building for those folks who cannot manage the stairs. There is a bell to ring by the lift door and someone will come to your assistance. We also provide headsets for hearing assistance.

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