Thanks so much for stopping by our website as you discern whether or not Strathcona Park Church could be a place you call home. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect on this page:
- What is our mission?
- What should I expect on a Sunday?
What is our mission?
The Bible tells the power journey of God’s radical love for His People. It starts by naming the problem of reality (sin) and reveals the lengths that God goes through in order to free His people from that reality and establish a new one. It’s a story of redemption, recreation and radical love.
As a community we believe that we are completely, utterly, and Radically Loved by God. The central, most powerful display of God’s radical love is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his victory over death (but that’s jumping pretty far into the Story of the Bible – there are many other occasions where God’s radical love for His people is shown, but all of them find their fulfillment and climax in Jesus).
After Jesus was raised, he commissioned his disciples: “Go and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt 28:18-20). A basic summary of what Jesus is saying is, Just as I have loved you radically, go and tell others about it. Love them radically too so that they might know of my love for them. And that is our mission as a church: to allow God’s radical love for us to spill over into the lives of those around us; to know how radically loved we are by God and to love others radically.
What should I expect on a Sunday?
Arrival. As you pull into the parking lot you’ll see the white front doors (in the summer they’ll be wide open). There will be someone there to say hello and welcome you. They’ll offer you a bulletin which has an outline of the service and gives you a taste of what happens in the life the church.
You’ll be invited in to the sanctuary where you’re free to sit wherever you find comfortable. Some people prefer sitting at the back while others jump to the front. We don’t want to force you into a spot so feel free to sit wherever you’re comfortable.
Children. We are blessed to have a number of children at our church. We encourage a shared family worship experience in our services so we invite the kids to join us for the start of the service. We have flags available to wave during the songs or a colouring station at the front (below the TV screen) where they can worship God with their creativity. After the kid’s time portion of the service anyone in elementary school ages are invited to Sunday School (out the sanctuary, and down the stairs – don’t worry, our Sunday School Teachers are there to help lead everyone down together). We also have nursery available with a loving staff to help out and give you a chance to relax.*
Service. Our service honours the tradition that Presbyterians** have known for many years but recognizes that everyone connects with God differently. Our pastors have worked hard at bringing a blend of styles to our services, making sure that everyone has an opportunity to connect with God in a way that helps them most (all other opportunities are gifts to our fellow saints). We sing traditional hymns led by our Music Ministry Leader, Genevieve Hudson, and we sing praise music led by various guitarists (all of it glorifies God).
Our preaching team includes our clergy-couple team who alternate week by week. Pastor Elaine and Pastor Curtis preach through the chosen text (exegetically) and strive to bridge the gap between the ancient world and today.
Fellowship. In keeping with our mission we want to radically love each other and our guests. We do this by joining for coffee, tea, and snacks after the service in the upper hall. All you have to do is walk out of the sanctuary, up the five stairs and you’ll be there. If mobility is a barrier for you, know that you’re not alone! We have dedicated and vigilant members who are ready to offer you any of the refreshments and will bring them directly to you and fellowship on the main level.
*All of our volunteers and staff provide criminal record checks to our office and complete the vulnerable sector check. This is part of The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s Leading with Care policy.
**Presbyterian comes from the Greek presbyteros which means “elder.” Our denomination is named after our Church government which focuses around accountability: making sure no one person has all the power, but that discernment and decisions are made in community. The Presbyterian Church in Canada was founded when Scottish missionaries brought the Church of Scotland and planted in Canada.