A Light on the Hill
Hilldale Lutheran Church (ELCIC)
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Pastor Sirpa Tolppanen
Thinking of worshipping with us?
If you haven’t worshipped at Hilldale Lutheran Church,
you might wonder where things are and the right way to act.
Every church is different, and we don’t always do things the same way,
but here is a bit of an introduction to worshipping at Hilldale.
I don’t have anything to wear to church.
You can dress up and come to church if you like, but you will also be welcomed and find others in jeans, long or short pants, sandals, and open-collar shirts. Most of us are casually dressed.
Where do I park?
There are a few wheelchair-accessible spaces close to the door. There are several places between the church and Hilldale Road. There are lots of places between the church and the condos. From wherever you park, it is a short distance to the main door.
What will I find when I enter?
You will probably be greeted by someone who can direct you to the coat room, (to your right) and give you a bulletin that contains most of the service information, and a music book. Oh, yes, the closest washrooms are through the coat room.
What about children?
We welcome children and their parents, to our church. From September to May we have Sunday school for those who are about 4 to 12 years old. They usually come to the first part of the service with their parents and then go to their class. During the summer, we try to have a colouring sheet or two and some colours they can take back to their parents and work with. Some parents bring a special book or quiet toy that is their “church toy” and maybe a snack that is special for them during the service. We have a children's corner set up with some quiet activities. Having some noise and activity from children adds to the life of our worship and we welcome them rather than have your family stay home because of them.
How will I know when to sit and stand during the service?
The complete service is usually printed in the bulletin and the pastor or worship leader indicates when to stand (for those who are able) or sit. We try to be respectful in our worship but not so formal that there are a lot of right or wrong ways to do things.
We have several songs during the service. The music team will lead them. If you don’t know the melody, follow the words and try to hum along. The words usually have a lot of meaning and you will catch on to the tune.
What about the offering?
If you are a guest with us, do not feel obligated to put anything in the offering basket when it is passed along. As members and regular worshippers, we have made a commitment to support the ministry of the church financially as well as with our time and talents but you are our guest. Some of us give our financial offering weekly and others bi-weekly or monthly so we may pass the offering basket by on any given Sunday. If and when you desire to support our ministry financially is your decision. We have offering envelopes available from the greeters that you can put your offering in so that you will receive a tax-deductible receipt at the end of the year.
The offering does more than pay the pastor to prepare for worship services and visit and counsel those in need or ill or lonely around the community. We also help provide humanitarian aid in our city, country, and the world. We support missionaries and train pastors and much more. And of course, there is the ongoing cost of maintaining the church building, power, water, insurance, and phone bills.
Am I welcome at Holy Communion?
We welcome all who want to receive Holy Communion for forgiveness and the strengthening of faith. If you have any questions, please contact one of the pastors. Both wine and grape juice are available, depending on your preference.
What happens after the service?
People are usually greeted by the pastor, reconnect with children who have been in Sunday School, and stop for coffee and pulla (Finnish Coffee Bread) before going home. There is juice and cookies for the kids. It is a good time to connect with church friends.
This is the time when more of the action of the church begins. Recharged by worship, we go to our homes and community with strength and direction to live out the life that God and we want to live. We’ll be back to church for study and ways we can serve and to worship again. These are all good and help us live our lives outside of the church.
What if I want to know more?
To find out more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, please visit their website.
To find out more about Hilldale Lutheran Church, contact the church office.
Thanks for considering what we have to offer you!