What to Wear
There is no formal dress code. For the vast majority, casual comfortable clothing is the attire of choice. More formal attire is more likely to be worn at special festivals such as Christmas and Easter services but is by no means universal or required.
When You Arrive
A member will greet and welcome you to our worship service. If you are a visitor, please introduce yourself as such and sign our guest book located just inside the main entrance.
Main floor washrooms are located on the east side of the Parish Hall.
Entering the Sanctuary
Two ushers are waiting to greet you at the entrance to the sanctuary and provide you with a copy of the day’s worship guide / bulletin. We don’t usher people directly to pews and there is no reserved seating except on special occasions such as baptisms. Feel free to sit where you are most comfortable.
Space has been set aside for wheelchairs. We also have hearing-assistance technology. Upon request, an usher will be happy to provide you a headset.
If you have brought your children with you, have them sit with you for the first part of the service. About 10 minutes into the service is the children’s message time. Following that children head off to the Sunday School classrooms located in our basement. If this is a first experience for your children, you are welcome to accompany them downstairs and get them settled with the appropriate class. Children may join you again when it is time for Holy Communion.
Kits for helping keep a young child entertained during the service are available at the entrance to the sanctuary. Ask an usher if you are not able to locate the kits.
Our Vulnerable Persons Policy requires all staff and members who formally interact with children to undergo a record check with the Winnipeg Police.
Our Worship Style
Worship life at St. Mark’s is vibrant, engaging and welcoming to all. Our services are liturgical in nature but we freely substitute different musical selections for what is found in our hymnal – Evangelical Lutheran Worship or ELW.
Worship services begin with our Centering for Worship statement. It reads “we gather together with different needs, experiences, and gifts to offer. We are called to love and support each following Christ’s example. We gather as the family of God and body of Christ. People of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, races, beliefs, faiths and abilities are welcome here.” We also acknowledge that “our gathering in on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabe, Cree, Objibway, Oji Cree and the homeland of the Metis Nation. We strive to follow Christ’s example through a commitment to reconciliation and racial equality.”
We are sustained each week by Word from scripture, our Pastor’s sermon and children’s message and in the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper (see Holy Communion below).
Our worship experience is further enhanced by a wide musical palette including traditional hymns, contemporary songs, and global music. We are a congregation that loves to sing, and our joyful worship music is led by piano and organ as well as guitar, wind and string instruments, percussion, Music Ministry adult choir, and Voices Raised children’s choir.
We give thanks for our blessings and pray for concerns of our church community, wider neighbourhood, and global family. We seek justice, peace, and care for our world, and are inspired to share God’s love through the week in our church programming and daily lives.
At St. Mark’s, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with an open table – all are welcome, including children, to receive regardless of whether you are a member of the congregation or a Lutheran.
Aside from the traditional bread and wine, gluten-free bread and grape juice are available for those with special dietary needs. Gluten-free wafers are individually wrapped and available from a stand located by the front pew. Individual glasses of grape juice are in the inner circle of the communion wine trays.
Communion is served by our Pastor and three lay members. The Pastor distributes the bread. The lay assistants serve wine – one with individual glasses and the other from a common cup. A third person, usually a confirmation student assists with the collection of the individual glasses.
From Labour Day through to mid-June, communion is offered every Sunday. During the summer months, we alternate between services with communion and services of the Word.
Following the Order of Worship
The Sunday bulletin contains the order of worship. We also make extensive use of PowerPoint to guide you through the service. Spoken parts of the liturgy as well as the lyrics for hymns and songs are projected on a screen. Hymn books are available in the pews for those who read music and like to sing with the notes in front of them.
Hospitality – Stay for Coffee
Following worship, we gather for coffee in the Parish Hall. We invite you to share this time with us and get more acquainted with the St. Mark’s community over a cup of fair-trade coffee. Pot luck lunches are usually held on the last Sunday of the month.