Cole Harbour Woodside United Church (CHWUC) has a rich past and recent history. The two original congregations in Cole Harbour and Woodside were started in 1830 and 1880 respectively. In our recent history, these two churches amalgamated on July 1st, 1999. Shortly after amalgamation, we started discussing our needs for a new building. Construction began in August 2003. The first service in the new sanctuary was Thanksgiving Sunday in 2004 and the dedication service was held on April 17th, 2005. Renovations to the old building were completed in August 2005.
Our church functions under a Unified Board structure, with committees which regularly report to the Board. One of these committees is our Worship Committee who works to plan the church’s worship services. This includes: our Sunday 9:30 am quiet service which incorporates time for conversation, reflection and prayer; the Sunday 10:30 am family service; and the monthly Wednesday afternoon service held at Parkland at the Lakes. This last service is a more traditional service, geared toward seniors. There are also a variety of special services and observances that take place throughout the year.
Of course, our church wouldn’t be what it is without the myriad of individuals, volunteers, and groups who provide the lifeblood of our inreach and outreach activities. All of our ministries and committees are listed elsewhere on our website, but some that have been especially prevalent both inside and outside our congregation are:
- The Food Bank
- Affirming Ministry Team
- Hope Cottage
- The Funeral Ministry
- The Pastoral Care Team
- The Shawl Ministry
- The United Church Women (UCW) Unit
- Youth Groups – Senior and Junior
- Sunday School
- The Resource Centre
- Our adult education classes
There are also a number of smaller, less “formal” groups within the church such as Women, Wine and Worship, Church in a Pub, a men’s lunch group, and the comfort quilters.
These groups and others offer fellowship activities throughout the year. There have been bridge nights, kitchen parties, family events, and dinner theatres. We’ve also hosted a variety of concerts and special services, weddings and funeral services. All of these groups and activities take place in a friendly and comforting atmosphere reflected by the people of our church.
Our church building is also host to an early learning centre (preschool), meetings for groups with the Girl Guides of Canada, and a community choir. With the new building’s hall, kitchen, chapel, nursery, and upstairs meeting rooms, it is an ideal location for events and activities in the community that don’t necessarily connect directly to our church and its members.
The true picture of our pastoral charge comes from the people in our church. We are a multigenerational congregation that is a welcoming, extended family to all. You can always find someone to watch your young children for a few minutes, someone to share a cup of tea with, or someone to give you a ride home.
We are an affirming and creative congregation who still rely on some of our traditional comforts. As much as you will hear a traditional hymn being sung during a service, you may also hear someone beating on the church’s djembe drum. As well as you will hear scripture being read from the Bible, you can learn the interpretation of those stories and how they relate to modern day, and more liberal thought. We have a wealth of experiences, skills and energy to be tapped into to promote the growth of the CHWUC pastoral charge.