St. Mark's United Church

A progressive, inclusive life-affirming Christian community of faith

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SanctuaryWhere is St. Mark's located?

St. Mark's is tucked away in the surburbs of Scarborough.  Our address is 115 Orton Park Road.  Check out the map below for more details on where exactly we're located.

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Is there a dress code?

No!  Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.  You’ll see people on Sunday morning dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, others like to dress up for church.  Trends are not important – what’s important is that we gather together each week and celebrate God in our midst.

Is the church wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the sanctuary is on the same level as the entrance and there are no stairs.  For functions going on in the basement, there is a wheelchair ramp outside.

Do you have to be a member of the United Church of Canada to attend Sunday service?

No, St. Mark’s is welcome to everyone no matter their religious background.  We welcome all into our sanctuary and wish for you to feel as much at home as possible.  Worship is participatory and inclusive in word and gesture; no person is without a friend by the end of your visit at St. Mark’s.

How long is a normal church service?  St Mark's United Church

Normally about 1 hour (starting at 11:00 AM, 10:00 AM in the summer), but we'd love to see you earlier (10:30 AM) as we share some coffee and goodies together in a social setting prior to Sunday service.

Is there a place for my child at St. Mark's?

Children are invited to depart for Sunday School a few minutes into the service, after a time designed especially for them. Sometimes kids new to St. Mark’s prefer to stay with their parents.  That is fine with us.  It is important that everyone be comfortable.  If they do stay with you, or come back early, and become restless, feel free to move to the open area at the side, near the front doors, where there is room to roam around and play.  You’ll find a bookshelf of toys and books there.

Is it OK if I just show up one Sunday to see what it's like?

Of course it is, and we encourage you to join us.  We believe you will find us a friendly group and will see that we are fairly laid back and welcoming to all visitors.  But please be cautioned, you will not be a stranger for long as you will soon become a friend to St. Marks. Once you have 'tried us out' a few times, we hope to see you more regularly.

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What does progressive, inclusive and life-affirming mean?

We're always refining our understanding of this, but here are some starting points that help us reflect on this statement:

Progressive – in both faith and practice we will not be bound by fixed, historic, orthodox traditions or understandings of God, but looking forward, unfolding in faith and thought; open to Change [spirited], connected to healthy community, responsive/dynamic [vs static], theologically/adaptive/changing, thinking/questioning/future oriented.

Inclusive - we want to reflect the multiplicity of faces we see in our city, to be respectful of and learn from the faith traditions around us, and ensure that services,actions, and words are accessible to all, especially to those for whom "church" is unfamiliar or perceived to be hostile; diversity, consciousness/respectful of other’s needs, eliminate isms, non judgmental, ageless, welcoming, accessible (physically, actions, gestures, language, ritual.

Life-Affirming – seeing and celebrating the holy and sacred in our very midst, even in that which, and in those who seem foreign to us; caring for the environment; caring  for each other and for others; seeking ways to live kindly, generously, and responsively; showing environmental/ecological respect; inspiring; responsible for world and other’s lives; being positive, joyous, thankful, grateful and hopeful; attending to the good of others through the Mission & Service Fund and Local Outreach; blessings of live for all; in life, in death, in life after death, choosing life.

Copyright

Copyright © 2009-2020 St. Mark's United Church, 115 Orton Park Rd., Toronto, Ontario  M1G 3G9
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