Visiting – What to Expect
Welcome to St. James Centennial United Church
at 24 Mary St. in Parry Sound.
Worship, Sunday School, Youth Group -10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Who We Are:
Please refer to www.stjamesps.com/about-us/who-are-we for more information.
Some parking is available in our church lot at the corner of Mary and Miller Streets.
- Ample free parking can be found at Logan’s Funeral Home across the street from our main entrance on Mary Street and available of Sundays.
- There is free parking on Sundays on the surrounding streets in the downtown area (please note that we try to save the spaces on the street right in front of the church for those who need assistance).
Special Needs Entrance:
We do have an elevator that is accessed from the entrance next to the church parking lot (corner of Mary and Miller Streets). If you need assistance please use the intercom beside the door on the outside of the building. An usher will answer you and will come and assist you with the elevator.
As you enter the church our greeters will meet you. They will be happy to answer any questions that you might have regarding our church service and facility. The stairs inside the front doors to your right lead down to the nursery, main washrooms and on to the lower Sunday school hall housing our Sunday school rooms. There is also a large well-equipped kitchen off the hall, where luncheons and dinners are periodically held.
The nursery is down the stairs to your right and we provide a caring adult who will welcome and supervise your younger children during the service. The facility is well stocked with a crib, change table with supplies and plenty of toys to keep your young ones cared for and entertained. Please feel free to make use of this room.
Just inside the main entrance, as you move up the short set of stairs to the narthex you will come to an open area. There, you will find the coat racks, a shopping cart where we collect food for one of our local food banks, a bulletin board with up to date information and a table that will contain a printed copy of the sermon and announcements. You will also be greeted by ushers who, if you wish, will assist you in finding a suitable seat within the worship space of the church; you will hear it referred to as the sanctuary. The ushers will also provide you with a bulletin outlining the order of service for the morning. You also might meet with a prayer steward who is available if you wish to share a joy in your life or request support through prayer. These will then be shared during the worship service.
Sanctuary or Worship Space:
We have two entrances to the sanctuary. If you enter through the first set of doors you will find moveable chairs at the back of the sanctuary. Entering through the second set of doors you will find the rows of pews. If you wish, our ushers will help you find a seat that is comfortable for you.
Children and Youth Ministry:
A family area is available where parents/guardian/grandparents can gather with children during the service in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. The area includes children’s and adult seating, comfy chairs, drawing/craft tables, a carpet for lying or playing, pencil crayons and crayons, books and puzzles, toys and lego. The area is open to the worship space so that you can still hear everything and feel that you and your family are part of the service. Please feel free to make use of this area. Occasionally we will also have special programming for children available, in which case your children are invited to go with a couple volunteers to the Sunday School area for faith based acitivities. They may also stay with you. Please note all of our volunteers have submitted a police check and have been screened. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Rev. Joe Gaspar firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a visitor to our church, please do not feel obligated to contribute to the church offering. Your presence is your gift to us. Our parishioners will place their gifts in the offering plate as they enter the sanctuary and these are then collected and blessed during the service. The offering is used to fund the works of the church. If you decide that you would like to be part of the St. James community, you can request offering envelopes from the church office or sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR) where an amount you specify is donated directly from your bank account.
Our service has welcomed new technologies that enhance our spiritual experience. All readings, hymns, and prayers are displayed on a large screen for all to view. Rev. Joe Gaspar also uses visuals to supplement and provide additional meaning to his morning message. Services usually include a welcome, announcements, an opportunity to share and to hear about the joys and concerns in our lives, a chance to greet one another and offer each other the peace that only God can give (we call it passing the peace), a children’s time, hymns, a choir anthem, prayers to give thanks, prayers to share our concerns and prayers to reflect on the way we are leading our lives and our minister’s message. Services are generally an hour in length.
Refreshments and Fellowship:
At the end of the service and at the back of the sanctuary, refreshments are available. This is also an opportunity to meet or get to know people a little better and an opportunity to deepen the sense of community. We encourage you to spend some time catching up with church family and friends or meeting new people.
Rev. Joe Gaspar is available at the end of the service to welcome you and answer any questions or concerns that you might have. Please take the time to introduce yourself to him. He is also available by calling the church at 705-746-8553 or by email at email@example.com. Both Andrea Gaspar (our Sunday school coordinator) and Pam Moorhouse (our youth group leader) are often available at this time as well.