I'm New Here: Twenty Things You May Find Helpful to Know
Below is a list of twenty questions with answers you may find helpful to know if you're new, or even if you've been going to church for years! Click on the title of the questions below to reveal the answers.
Whatever you feel comfortable in. We're pretty sure God doesn't care and we're not that fussed either, but some people ask. (For instance, jeans and a shirt would fit right in.)
Yes, there is on-street parking on Woronora Parade.
This can be a bit confusing -- we have two main entrances! Look for the red 'Entrance' sign, and head up the ramp; or else enter via the double doors directly facing the street.
Old people, young people - you won't be able to tell us apart from anyone else on the street - we look just like you! Our age range is 0 to 94.
There is no particular place you should or shouldn't sit. The first few times you might feel more comfortable towards the back of the building, so you can see what is going on.
All our gatherings are centred upon a talk from a section of the Bible that will be read aloud. Meeting usually include 3 or 4 songs, 1 or 2 Bible readings, and a time of prayer. We usually stand up for singing and affirming what we believe with a creed, and sit down the rest of the time. Unlike the old days we don't do a lot of kneeling any more. Don't worry if you are not much of a singer - not many of us are! Also, you won't be asked to do anything weird: there are no secret signs, rituals, or wacky handshakes. Just feel free to sit and watch if you want.
Sunday meetings generally run for about 70-75 minutes. Most people then mingle for tea or coffee for another half an hour or so.
Children under 12 years old join with the adults for the first 15 minutes or so, and then move out to their own Kids' Church programs in the Ministry Centre. There are two kids' church age groups; readers and non-readers. Children are welcome to stay with their parents/carers if they feel more comfortable.
You won't need to know your way around the Bible to participate in our meetings. We have Bibles available in the seats, and readers will give you page numbers to turn to for the readings (these are also printed on the weekly bulletin). Bible Study Groups are a great way to learn more from the BIble. At All Saints' we encourage all our members to take part in a mid-week Bible study group where small groups gather in peoples' homes or one of our halls to read and study the Bible, share life with one another and pray together.
We aim to be a place where you can spend some time exploring who Jesus is and what he came for; so please be upfront about where you're at in your exploration! No one will be pushy; we're delighted to help.
If you've got honest questions or issues, nobody is going to be offended by you asking them (whatever they might be). Our leaders have access to books and other resources that might be of benefit to you and are more than happy to sit down over coffee or lunch to talk about your questions -- just ask!
You are absolutely welcome to come to our services! However only those who are Jesus' followers should participate in the commemoration of Christ's death by sharing in Holy Communion (or the Lord's Supper). Periodically we run discussion groups such as Christianity Explored and Life of Jesus that would provide a great opportunity for you to learn more. Speak to one of the ministers for more details. We would even start a group just for you!
Rather than interrupting the service programs, we would generally encourage you to write your questions on the 'Pink Slip' or ask Stephen or one of the service leaders after the service. Sometimes we include a Q&A segment; and sometimes we can't resist just calling out! Alternatively you might prefer to arrange a mutually convenient time during the week to discuss your questions.
All our services and meetings are conducted in English. If we speak too quickly, please let us know - we don't want you to miss the great truths about Jesus!
Our building is fitted with a hearing loop. 10am church use an overhead screen throughout the service.
At All Saints' we will try to make you feel as welcome and included as we can, but we do know we are far from perfect at this! So we ask for your patience and understanding if you are feeling a bit out of place. Should you choose to come back, our experience is that you'll probably find you're not as different as you first thought.
'Stephen' will be just fine. We don't use formal titles at All Saints'.
The mens' and ladies' toilets are located in separate buildings on the northern side of the church property, between the Hall and the Ministry Centre at the rear of the property.
If you're visiting, not you!
Members of All Saints' voluntarily contribute from their own resources to support the work of our church and to maintain our facilities. Members contribute through the offertory (collection) that is made at each Sunday service, or by direct transfer from their bank accounts. (Should you ever want to do this too, please see our Treasurer.) We don't ask visitors to contribute to the offertory; please feel no obligation to do so.
Most of the member contributions are used to pay for staff and related costs, with the balance used to maintain the church facilities and support God's mission throughout the world. We don't receive any direct financial support from the government or the wider Anglican church.
As part of the Anglican Church, All Saints' supports a number of mission and aid organisations including:
- Church Missionary Society
- Bush Church Aid Society
From time to time, other appeals are brought to our congregations' attention.
As an Anglican Church, All Saints' is subject to the body of church law of the Anglican Church of Australia. We are thus governed by our Parish Council (consisting of our rector, three wardens, and other qualified representatives), which is responsible for overseeing our properties and finances, and for conferring with our rector on ministry policies and affairs. Within this group, the three wardens administer property and financial matters, and consult with our rector on a frequent basis.
Elections are held once each year at the Annual General Meeting of Parishioners (AGMP). Our rector is appointed by the Archbishop of Sydney, generally after nomination by the Nomination Board (an elected group responsible for selecting a new minister whenever the need arises).
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