Who we are
We're a varied bunch. We come to worship from the Crestwood community, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Castle Downs, Millwoods, and lots of neighbourhoods in between. We range in age from infants to centenarians. Some of us grew up in the United Church and have never left, some of us have come from other Christian denominations and for still others, St. Andrew's is our first church experience. We value the wisdom of age, the exuberance of youth, and the creativity that exists within us all. We love to sing together, eat together, work together, and learn together. We believe that growing in faith and spirit is best done in community. We believe that is why we are St. Andrew's United Church.
In the Spirit of St. Andrew, who practised the Christian arts of hospitality and pilgrimage — walking in the way of Jesus of Nazareth — we celebrate the presence of God's mystery in our worship, learning, leadership and ministry to the local and global communities, as a congregation within the United Church of Canada.
St. Andrew's is an Abundant Community
Last year we read and reflected on the book, The Abundant Community for our Lenten Study. An abundant community has the following properties:
Focuses on the gifts of its members
Nurtures associational life
Offers hospitality to strangers
Experience of abundance at St. Andrew's
The first week I attended I was struck by the friendliness. A lot of people introduced themselves and many remembered my name the next week and spoke to me again. But as the weeks went by I noticed a genuine feeling of unity: far deeper than just friendship. The congregation had a commitment to the church, to the community, to the country, to international projects. The messages from Geoff were inspiring and something I remembered through the following week. The music was, and continues to be, beautiful, sometimes bringing a tear to my eye in its sincerity. I got involved in some of the groups and have made some friends for life. I am truly part of a loving and supportive church family.
The depth and breadth of spirit expressed in the Wednesday morning study group. The sharing of the Bible knowledge is bolstered by the high regard for each person's perspective and questing. It is marked by active participation and deep listening for one another. Community and deeper learning is the hallmark of this group.
Whenever I suggest an idea, provide an opportunity for support, or ask people in the St. Andrew's congregation for help, people voluntarily come forward to share their resources, their time, ideas, and suggestions on who to talk to. Whenever I have tried a bottom-up personal approach with the congregation I have experienced success!
The United Church of Canada has a long tradition of championing the earth. At St. Andrew's, we are determined to make a difference by:
Reducing the carbon footprint of our aging building through efficient heating, low-flush toilets and energy-conserving doors and windows
Offering tours and workshops to other churches and non-profit groups interested in becoming more environmentally conscientious
Serving only Fair Trade coffee at our social events
Car-pooling on Sundays
We recognize that this is just the beginning and that we must strive to shift our consciousness away from the consumer culture toward a more enlightened and responsible stewardship of God's Earth.
In the community
Sharing the building
City West Childcare and Community Support Society
Little Friends Nursery Centre Society
In the wider neighbourhood
National and global
Racecourse Community School, Zambia
United Church of Canada Mission & Service
History of St. Andrew's
In the spring of 1929 two visionary women drove a buggy through muddy roads and bush soliciting interest in beginning a Sunday School in the local Jasper Place School. From the nucleus of Sunday School attendees grew a desire for a real church building.
In 1945, four lots were purchased on 149 Street. As building materials and funds were very short after the war, initial construction was limited to a church basement covered by a temporary roof. Through dedicated giving and ingenuity, services were held in the completed Jasper Place Church sanctuary in 1951. The church was named St. Andrew’s in 1958. To alleviate crowded conditions for the Sunday School, a Christian Education Building was constructed at the present site and dedicated in 1959. The first church was sold in 1962 and services moved to the basement of the Christian Education Building.
This new church officially opened in 1963. The worship space was designed for a large, dynamic congregation. A cross, made in an industrial aircraft plant, became the visual focus of worship and light streamed through colored windows. The furniture was hand-crafted and a sculptor shaped brass symbols of wheat, bread, grapes and chalice.
Through the 1970s, St. Andrew’s grew its mission and outreach through the West End Daycare and Little Friends Nursery School which provide quality child care in a nurturing environment. Guided by their vision of building community, St. Andrew’s congregation was strengthened when members of St. James United Church were welcomed into fellowship in 1992.
In 2013 a service of celebration marked the 50th Anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone, continuing worship services, and gathering together in supportive friendship and trusting faith.