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Westdale United Church

A warm place to find yourself

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Services & Events

Keep up to date with what's happening at Westdale

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Worship Services

  • Sunday morning worship is held in the Sanctuary from 10:30 to 11:30am.
  • It is a great time to connect faith with everyday life and social responsibilities.
  • All ages are welcomed to a relaxed blend of traditional and contemporary worship.
  • The greeters will give you a paper bulletin that is also displayed on the Power Point that runs during worship.
  • Children remain in worship for the first 15-20 minutes that includes spending time in conversation with the minister.  The young people then leave for Kids’ Club.  There is Nursery care for infants up to 3 years of age.
  • Communion is celebrated several times in the year and everyone is welcome to Christ’s table.
  • Music is a central part of worship.   At Westdale there is a professional music director who leads the choir all of which then lead the congregation singing a mix of traditional and modern hymns.


 So to help you, we have provided ‘A Lexicon of Churchese:  with English translation’!

  • Altar – table on stage
  • Anthem – special choir music
  • Bulletin – program for worship
  • Chancel – stage area
  • Communion – re-enactment of Jesus’ Last Supper
  • Hymn – sacred song that we all sing
  • Narthex – lobby, welcoming area
  • Prelude – music before the worship
  • Postlude – music after the worship
  • Sanctuary – worship area

***Attach a typical Order of Service*** (See May 28, 2017 bulletin attached)


What is Baptism?

Baptism is one of the sacraments of the Christian Church; that is, Baptism is a ‘visible sign of an invisible grace’.  That grace is the creating, sustaining and saving love of God.

What happens when a child is Baptized?

Baptism is a time to celebrate and recognize that our children are gifts of God, who loves them and intends for them to receive all the blessing God would give.  As parents and as a congregation, we recognize that our children belong to God and the community of faith…they belong because we belong.

Baptism is a time when parents reaffirm their faith and once again choose Christ as the centre of their lives.  At Baptism, promises are made by both the parents and the members of the congregation to do all we can to provide a ‘Christian’ home for our children, and that all the members of the Church will support the parents while, at the same time, accepting our own responsibility to provide the children with security, Christian nurture and the examples of our lives.

What are the Requirements?

When our children are baptized, they are welcomed into the Christian Church.  They belong to the Church because they are a part of a family within the ‘family of faith’.  Therefore, it is desirable that one or both of the parents (or sponsors) be active within the Westdale congregation.  If you are not now such an ‘active member’, you will want to discuss this requirement with the minister.  If it is important for you that your child be baptized, then finding your own place in the church family will also provide you with support.

If you not now active members of a faith community:

The arrival of children is one of those times in our lives when we think about some of the ‘big’ questions: about God, faith, and the kind of values we want for our children.  This is also a perfect opportunity for you, as the parent, to think more seriously about what you believe and desire for yourself.  Your spiritual life can be a great resource to assist in the raising of your children.  Now is an appropriate time for you to renew or establish your faith.  The minister will be glad to outline how this can become a reality for you.

If you do not live in Peterborough:

Since it is the sacrament of welcoming into the church family, Baptism normally occurs in the congregation where the child will live and grow.  However, there may be good reasons for holding the Baptism elsewhere.  When this happens, it is with the understanding that the people of Westdale United Church are acting on behalf of the people of your church family where you now live.  Accordingly, you will want to speak with the minister of the church you now attend.  He/she may wish to personally describe the meaning of the sacrament with you and then announce to the people there that the Baptism is taking place on their behalf.

What about the Godparents?

In the United Church all members of the church become your child’s ‘Godparents’ when they make their vows in the service.  However, you may wish to include others who have a special relationship with your child.  They are welcome to stand with you in the service, but have no special duty.  Note: Their participation in the service is not recognized in law.  Any arrangement concerning custody of your child in the event of death should be discussed with a lawyer and included in your will.

An Example of the Service of Baptism:


  • After the parents come forward with their child(ren), the minister offers a brief explanation of the meaning of this sacrament.

The Parents Profess Their Faith

  • The parents are asked: “Do you profess your faith in God, your Creator, in Jesus Christ, your Saviour and Lord, and in the Holy Spirit, your Teacher and Guide?  The Parents answer: “I do”.

The Parents make their Promises –

  • “Will you bring up your child(ren) in the knowledge and love of God, teaching them the truths and duties of the Christian Faith?              The Parents answer: “I will, God being my helper.”
  • “Will you make a Christian home for your child(ren), so fashioning your lives that they will come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord?” The Parents answer: “I will, God being my helper.”
  • “Will you encourage your child(ren) to seek confirmation, so they may be strengthened in faith by the Spirit and nurtured at the table of the Lord; then to go forth and serve God faithfully in their own lives?”  The Parents answer: “I will, God being my helper.”

The People make their Promises

  • The minister asks the congregation: “Beloved in the Lord, it is our responsibility to receive these children in Christ’s name, even as we were once received: and to support them with constant love, wholesome examples, Christian teaching and faithful prayers.  Are you willing to accept this great responsibility?”  The People answer together: “We do so promise, God being our helper.”

Pouring of the water

  • Water is poured into the baptismal font symbolizing the new life we received in Christ.

Baptism of the Child(ren)

  • One by one, the children are baptized and blessed.

A Candle is Lit

  • Remembering that the light of Christ in the world reflects on every one who is baptized, a candle is lit from the Christ Candle for each of the children.

Presentation of the Certificate

  • A Baptismal Certificate will be given to the parents of each child, recognizing this event in their child’s life.

Prayers of the People

  • The congregation prays for the parents and for all who will care and teach the children about Christ and our faith.

To arrange for the Baptism of your child:

  • Read through this pamphlet.  Consider and discuss the meaning of the sacrament and the requirements.  Is this what you want for your child?  Are you really willing to be a ‘family within the church family’?  Make sure you discuss it with your spouse.  He/she may be willing to leave this decision to you, but they need also to support your intention.
  • You are invited to visit or call the administrative office of Westdale United Church in order to arrange a meeting with the minister at a mutually agreed upon time.  Additional background and family information will be required as requested by the minister once a decision is made to proceed.

Confirmations/New Members

Coming Soon!

Celebrations of Life

Coming Soon!


Congratulations on your coming wedding!  We hope it will be a joyous and memorable occasion for you and your families.  To help make the event run as smoothly as possible, we offer the following guidelines and pieces of information for your wedding to occur at Westdale United Church.

The Christian Church is involved in marriage because we believe that the commitment of marriage and the love and trust learned in the family relationship is of critical importance in our development as mature individuals.  Furthermore, it is through our self-giving love and commitment to one another that we appreciate the depths of God’s love and care for us as revealed through Jesus Christ.

It should be remembered that the Marriage Service is an act of Christian Worship.  Everything about it therefore (the words, music, symbols etc.) should be consistent with a service of worship.

Westdale United Church has an inclusive wedding policy and welcomes the opportunity of sharing with you in making your wedding plans.  This booklet is offered in the hope it may aid you in your wedding plans.

Arranging the Date

The first step in arranging a marriage to take place in Westdale United Church is to consult with the Church office regarding the date and hour you have in mind.  This will of course be a tentative booking, for all weddings are subject to the approval and availability of the officiating minister.  Once this has been arranged, a $40.00 deposit must be received to confirm the booking (this deposit reflects administration fee, noted in fees below).

Interviews with the Minister

An interview with the minister should be arranged at the time of booking a date and subsequent interviews will be expected two or three months prior to the actual date as well.  During these interviews, details of the ceremony will be explained and worked out under the guidance of the minister.  Ordinarily, weddings performed in Westdale are conducted by its minister.  If another minister is to be invited to conduct or share in the service, the minister of Westdale United Church should be contacted.


You will need to purchase a license so that your marriage can be registered in Ontario.  You may purchase the license up to 90 days before the wedding date and you MUST have it as least three days prior to the wedding.  We are responsible for filling in the information on the back of the license, so we ask that you bring your license in to our office one to two weeks before your wedding.  You can pick up your license at the office of the City Clerk, City Hall, 500 George St. North, Peterborough 705-742-7771, or at the town or city hall in your area.  Call ahead as there is documentation you need to take with you.


At Westdale, we have both an organ and a piano.  Please ask for contact information so that you can arrange the music details for your wedding with our music director.  We also have a sound system available if you prefer to use selections from a CD.


Any photographer desiring to take pictures of any aspect of the wedding is asked to discuss their plans in advance with the officiating minister.  NO photographs may be taken during the actual marriage ceremony; for example, during the vows or exchanging of rings.  There are appropriate times in which pictures may be taken; for example, during the processional, during the recessional and during the signing of the register.  These guidelines apply to not only your designated photographer, but also to your guests at the wedding.  We are concerned that everyone remember that the wedding is a service of worship and must not be disrupted.

Videotaping of the wedding is permitted at Westdale; however, the video camera must be placed in a permanent position for the entire service.

NOTE: Special arrangements must be made in advance if you would like to stay after the service for photos inside the church.


It is important that the number of attendants and relationships be identified to the officiating minister prior to the wedding rehearsal to assist in setting guidelines for their participation.  Note: Alcohol shall not be consumed by anyone in the wedding party, nor by your guests, prior to the wedding or on church property at any time.


The sanctuary of Westdale is really quite beautiful, and further decorations tend to detract rather than add to the Christian symbolism of the Church.  However, if you wish to have some flowers, please make arrangements with the office for a time they can be delivered.  Also, there are times when the church itself will be decorated for various seasons during the year, so you should note this when planning your wedding.

Pew bows should be put on with elastic or string.  NO tape!

Note: It is expected that NO rice or confetti will be thrown within the building.  Thank you!


The schedule of fees relating to wedding in Westdale United Church is as follows:

  1. There is no charge for the use of the Church if either the bride or the groom is a member or a current contributing supporter of this Church.  In the case of persons who are not members or current supporters of Westdale, a fee of $200 is charged for the use of the facilities.
  2. The fee for the music director, or her designate, for playing at the wedding including the rehearsal is $200.  An additional fee of $25 is charged for each solo that must be accompanied up to a maximum of 3 solos.
  3. The fee for the Church custodian is $85.  This includes cleaning, opening and closing the church which should be approximately 30 minutes after the service.  If pictures are to be taken after the service inside the church, this should be discussed in advance with the minister.
  4. The fee for the minister is $250.
  5. Office administration and coordination fee is $40.
  6. For services outside of Westdale United Church
    1. Within City limits: $280 minister
    2. Outside City Limits (at discretion of the minister): $330
    3. Boat Cruise/Island (at discretion of the minister): $350

All the above fees should be placed in separate envelopes indicating the person for whom they are intended, and delivered to the church office a minimum of two weeks prior to the wedding.  If fees are not received within these guidelines the booking date will be jeopardized.

Latest Sermons

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