Actively serving the Ottawa community for 60+ years

Email:       Phone: (613) 733-0437

What to Expect on a Sunday Morning (FAQ’s)

Yes, Emmanuel is accessible. There is a ramp to access the main building from the parking lot. The main doors are wheelchair accessible and there is an area set aside in the Sanctuary for those with wheelchairs and walkers and their families. There is an elevator which will take you to the lower and upper levels. Washrooms are accessible on all levels. We have designated handicapped parking spots in the parking lot. Large print bulletins and a hearing amplifier are also available.

The Sunday morning worship service is approximately one hour long. At the end of service, we are all invited to gather for coffee, tea and juice upstairs in the Christian Education (CE) Hall.

Emmanuel’s church service is a combination of traditional and contemporary worship presented with meaningful music, a welcoming message, opportunities to participate through responsive readings and quiet meditation and prayer.  We continue to explore ways to make our Sunday service accessible to and reflective of a variety of cultural experiences.

The Sunday worship service is usually led by our Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care. He leads the congregation through the service, drawing connections between daily living and faith. Music is led by our organist, pianist and choir. Lay readers lead the congregation in some parts of the service. Occasionally the service will be led entirely by lay worship leaders. Once or twice per year, our service is led by the youth. We welcome testimony and messages from all people in our church family.

There is no dress code at Emmanuel; wear what is comfortable for you. You may hang your coat in the narthex or keep it with you if you wish. The sanctuary is kept at about 20 C throughout the year on Sunday mornings. There are name tags in the narthex that people are encouraged to wear so that it is easier to get to know one another.

When you arrive at Emmanuel, you will be greeted at the entrance to the sanctuary just inside the main doors. An usher may offer you a bulletin with the order of service and announcements printed in it. Alternatively, the order of service and hymns are projected at the front of the sanctuary so that you can follow along easily. Hymn books are available throughout the sanctuary if you wish to follow along with the music.

Communion is served several times a year, on important days in the church year. There are special Wednesday evening services during Advent and Lent. Baptisms occur throughout the year during the regular Sunday morning worship service as arranged by the families and Minister. Youth Sunday, where the youth lead the worship service, happens once or twice per year. A Christmas pageant is held during Advent on one of the Sunday morning worship services. There is also a Christmas Eve Family service at 5:00 followed by a service of lessons and carols at 7:30. Occasionally during the year, we join together with other neighbouring United churches to share a service either at Emmanuel or at another church.  Outdoor summer services are held Wednesday evenings in the Botsford garden.

There are no expectations when you attend service. You are welcome to participate as much or as little as you like.

There is a children’s story and song during the service after which children have the choice of leaving to attend a children’s program. Children are also very welcome to stay in the sanctuary.  Occasionally, children and youth will lead a church service. They may also be involved as greeters, ushers, and lay readers. 

We are blessed to have a strong music program led by our Leader of Music Ministry and our Collaborative Pianist. We have a senior choir accompanied by grand piano, electric piano and/or pipe organ. The choir usually performs one anthem every Sunday and they lead the congregation in the hymns. We use Voices United and More Voices hymnals for both traditional and contemporary hymns. We strive to consider our musical choices to be relevant and meaningful to people of all cultures, ages and identities.  We also have a handbell choir, called Emmanubells, who perform once per month and a contemporary youth choir, called JAM, who perform regularly.  Our services are often accompanied by percussion, djembe, drums, bass, guitar, flute, trumpet and solo strings (viola, violin, and cello). 

We provide a nursery facility downstairs with a caregiver. The nursery has two rocking chairs, age appropriate toys and it is clean and safe. A washroom with a change table is located off the nursery. Alternatively, if you would like to cradle your baby or keep your toddler with you throughout the service, crying and squirming are part of their small lives and are quite acceptable during the service. There is also a lounge area located just off of the sanctuary with comfortable seating and activities for young children if you are more comfortable in this space. 

Children stay with their caregivers for the first part of the service. They are then invited to the front of the Sanctuary for a children’s story and song. Caregivers are welcome to join their children at the front. Following the hymn after the children’s story, children are invited to go with volunteer teachers to Sunday School in the large multi-purpose room on the lower level. Fun, faith based, age appropriate activities are organized for children aged 3-12.  The classrooms are on the lower and upper floors via the stairs to the left of the Sanctuary doors. Outside of the Sunday morning worship time, there are several programs for children and youth which can be found in the Activities section of the website.

The Minister will give a blessing at the end of the service followed by a musical postlude. You are invited for coffee and conversation in the CE Hall following the service.

Worship at Emmanuel is free and open to anyone and everyone! Because of COVID, we no longer pass the collection plates; they are available at the entrance to the sanctuary for you to use as you wish. The offering is a free-will offering that enables our church to keep our doors open and provide services and outreach, faith formation, caring and healing, for anyone in our community and our global partnerships. All of our expenses are met by the voluntary free will offering on Sunday mornings. You may use an envelope with your name on it or a cheque in order to receive a tax receipt. Some people choose to give their offering through PAR (Pre-authorized remittance), which is arranged through the church office to have a set amount of money debited from your bank account to Emmanuel United Church on a regular basis. This enables the church to receive your donation whether or not you are able to attend each Sunday, and greatly helps to prepare the annual budget. This can be arranged or stopped at any time. We also accept e-transfers to:

You may email or phone the church office or the Minister directly and request an appointment. You may leave a written message in the collection plate or you may speak directly with the Minister after the Sunday morning service. If you are new, there is a guest book in the narthex for you to sign with your name, address and phone number and someone will reach out to you.