Unique Worship at Brunswick Street United Church
by Margot Roach
The congregation at Brunswick Street United Church (BSUC) in Halifax’s North End enjoys a unique style of worship. Worship starts with a Bible Study at 6:00 PM on Sundays when 10-12 people meet to discuss, as equals, one of the lectionary passages. The service takes place at 7:00 PM.
Since September 2011, Rev. Kevin Little, minister of St. Luke’s in Tantallon, chooses the passage, and leads the Bible study, based on the Lectio Divina method of meditative reading of scripture to search for a word or phrase relevant to the reader. There is prayer about the passage, discussion of ideas and then a worship time on the same passage.
Prior to Kevin’s arrival, students from the Atlantic School of Theology led the Bible Study and Worship. Now, the 20 or so people who attend share all aspects of the service including the sermon. Kevin gives a short exegesis of the passage; then others take over. Some of the congregation have been at BSUC for years, while others come from the Brunswick Street Mission, the neighbourhood, or St. Luke’s. Everyone is welcome.
BSUC is a small church that rose from the ashes of a disastrous fire in 1979. The congregation and the Mission and Service Fund, have sponsored the Mission since 1929. Halifax Presbytery split the church from the Mission as a trial in 2005 and the division becoming permanent in 2008.
At Advent, some from BSUC light the Advent Candles and tell their stories at St. Luke’s. A small group from St. Luke’s participate in the services at BSUC fairly regularly. Occasionally extra services such as baptisms and funerals are held.
If you are in Halifax on a Sunday evening, drop in and experience this approach for yourself. Small congregations, sitting in a circle, might find it an exciting alternative for Bible Study and/or Worship.