I've been given a great opportunity this summer. Since I am not home for any weekends, I can visit churches in the cities I am present in.
Two weeks ago I was able to visit the first of these: St. Mary's Anglican Church in Regina. I am becoming more familiar with Anglican theology as I have been reading N.T. Wright this last year and I have read the scholarly work of John Stott too. It was a pleasure to sit (and stand and kneel) and worship among St. Mary's believers in their stained glass windowed church.
The liturgy was beautiful and engaging for me, one who has attended freeform worship services his whole life. It was a bit tricky to follow in the prayer book, but I managed well enough. The message was inviting and challenging and Christ-centred.
As the minister spoke and several youth read biblical passages, a group of children coloured and played quietly at the front of the sanctuary before the altar. This was quite amazing really.
I participated in communion, shared weekly in the Anglican tradition. It was a substantial time in the service and the faithful were dismissed row by row to line up and then kneel at the alter to be served the bread and wine. We were blessed as we received it which is a nice change from participating in virtual solitude at my church. The wine was clear and sweet and alcoholic - not sure why it's not red. The bread was leavened unlike what I grew up experiencing - when I asked why it was leavened since leaven represented sin in the old testament, my friend explained that it was because Christ's body was risen.
The final song sung was Lord of the Dance (sung to the tune of Simple Gifts). Blaise enamoured himself with it so I am glad it was an insert in the bulletin. He still pulls out the sheet and sings along.
We enjoyed refreshments in the basement following the service. The basement is also used for a community drama festival to present plays. It is also the site of a small school.