For First-time Visitors

Where are you located?

The church is at 116 Bond Street in downtown Toronto, just east of the Yonge and Dundas subway station. Click on “view larger map” on the Google map (at the bottom of the page) to find your way here.

What is bilingual worship?

We are a bilingual church, English and German. Our bilingual worship happens on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. It is mostly English with some German hymns and prayers. We also have separate English and German services on the 1st Sunday of the month. See our Calendar.

What should I wear?

Bottom line, wear what you are comfortable wearing. We gather as God’s loved people; some casual, others more dressed up. It’s not a surprise to see shorts, t-shirts, sandals, jeans and bright vibrant colours in equal numbers with dark suits, ties, and dresses. It’s your call. After all, we are thrilled that you’re joining us and want you to be more focused on the experience than what you’re wearing.

Will I fit in?

Whether you are old or young, coming with friends, or family, or on your own, like more traditional forms of worship or prefer something more modern, or even if you are totally unfamiliar with a Lutheran church, you will find a place here and people who are just like you

How will I know what to do?

Inside the entrance of the church, you’ll meet our greeters who’ll give you a friendly welcome and a leaflet explaining what will happen during the service. Just sit wherever you want. There are no reserved seats. There are times during the service when people stand or sit. The leaders of the service will invite you to do so as you are able. If you lose track, just watch what your neighbours do. If you have difficulty standing or are minding a baby or toddler, feel free to sit throughout the entire service. Many people do.

Do I have to put money in a collection plate?

We do take a collection during the service. Like everyone else, we have to pay the bills, but making a financial contribution during the service is totally voluntary. If you don’t want to put anything in the plate the day you visit us, just hand the plate along to your neighbour. Many regular members donate by pre-authorized payment or write a monthly cheque, so you won’t be the only one passing.

Can I take communion? What do I do?

All are welcome to gather at the table. When it comes time for communion, people walk up row by row to the front of the church.

The pastor will place bread in your open palm. You don’t need to say anything, but a lot of us reply with a quiet, heartfelt, “Amen” or “Thanks be to God”.

In the Lutheran Church we drink real wine from a common cup (we sometimes call it “the chalice”), which is offered to you by church members assisting the clergy (we sometimes call them “chalice bearers”). They too say a few words, and you take a sip from the offered cup. It’s okay to touch, hold, or steady the cup. Or you can take a small disposable cup of wine, which is also offered in place of the chalice.

It’s also okay to receive only the wafer. If you would rather not consume the wine, you can pause at the cup to hear the words of communion, or you can just walk past the chalice bearers and return to your seat. If you don’t want to take communion at all but would like a blessing, go up to the front with everyone else and just cross your arms over your chest. You’re also perfectly welcome to remain in your seat during this part of the service. If you have mobility concerns and would like communion brought to you, just signal an usher and they’ll make it happen for you.

Can I bring my bike?

Yes! You can lock your bike against our fence. And there are bike racks at the top of the street (corner of Bond and Gould). There is also a BikeShare Toronto kiosk directly across the street.

Where do I park?

There’s plenty of street parking free of charge on Sundays till 1:00 pm. Otherwise there’s a lot on the south-east corner of Church and Bond.

Is First a kid-friendly church?

We are welcoming of all kinds of families, and if yours happens to include children or grandchildren, we want them to feel at home with us, too. Our belief is this: children and youth are not future members of the church; they are present with us now, and their interests and their contributions are important to us. We also believe you and your family should choose to take part in our services and programs in a way that best supports your needs.

What if I say or do the wrong thing while I’m at the church?

We all do from time to time, but honestly there aren’t that many ways to slip up. And if you happen to get off track or go astray, you couldn’t pick a better place to do so!