WHAT TO EXPECT ON SUNDAYS
Worship With Us
St Thomas' has a car park on the North side of the church, it does get full! If you miss out on a park, there is plenty of parking on the different side streets with no time limit on Sundays.
We love singing songs together. We all stand up to sing, we have amazing musicians who lead us and the words are on the screen for all of us to join in the singing.
St Tom’s usually has 4 different church services, in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Every so often we all come together for one large combined service. The service itself doesn’t change much, but you will notice that the words on the screen are translated into Chinese, and some things during the service (like the prayers) might be only in Chinese. The sermon will also be translated.
Once a term, we have Messy Church! This is a very different church service. We start earlier, at 10am, and when you come into the building you will see things look a bit different, there are tables set up which you can go and visit and do different activities, you can also have morning tea at any time! At about 10.30am, someone will call us together, we all just grab a chair where we are, then we will sing together and listen to a shorter sermon.
We love having children join us on Sundays at St Tom's! The children join us in the big worship space until the ‘Kid’s Talk’. After this, all the children go out and split into different age groups to do fun activities relating to a Bible story. We also have a creche area, if you have very little ones you can go any time during the service, there is a speaker in there so you can still hear the service. All the leaders and helpers have WWCC and Police Checks and have done lots of training.
Our motto for children's ministry is Open, Supervised and Safe.
During one song of the service, we collect the money offertory, you’ll know which song this is because the band leader will tell everyone. You don’t have to give anything, but it is an opportunity for people who come to St Toms regularly, to give some money to help the church and God’s work grow. Two people will come around with bags, if you would like to contribute to the offertory, when they come around to you, you can place your offertory in the bag.
After the service most of us hang around to talk to each other, you can get a cup of tea or coffee and join us in the lounge or outside. There is also the opportunity for prayer after the service if you would like it.
The Lord be with you,
And also with you!
We use liturgy in all our services. Liturgy provides us with words to say together in worship of God and for our mutual spiritual encouragement. Using liturgy means that those serving up front and the congregation participate together in the service. The words of the liturgy are on the screens for everyone to see, when there are words in bold we all say the words together. If the words are not in bold, only the leader says them, but you can read along.
COMMUNION (1ST AND 3RD SUNDAYS)
Communion is a time when we remember Jesus’ death on the cross and his body and blood given for us. In receiving the the bread and wine, Christians are built up and spiritually nourished in their faith. All Christians are welcome to share with us in Communion. There are people who serve communion at the front. Those who receive communion line up in the centre aisle and make their way to the fron where they are served a wafer to eat and an individual juice cup to drink. The used cup and put it in the raffia bowls at the edges of the church before participants go back to their seats. We have gluten free wafers are available.
We celebrate Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. At our 8:30 service, Communion is celebrated weekly.
GREETING OF THE PEACE
Peace be with you,
And also with you!
Before Communion we have a time of refection followed by confession (using liturgy). After confession, God's forgiveness is declared and we celebrate peace with God. Peace with God leads to peace with one another. Forgiven people are called to forgive. And so we share the greeting of peace together by getting up and greeting people around us. During this time you can say hello and give a handshake if you feel comfortable. Someone will tell us when it’s time to head back to our seats, usually for a song!
We have separate men's and women's toilets, as well as a disabled toilet which also has a change table.