What to expect when you join us at a worship service

We are a liturgical church, meaning we follow a set liturgy, a fixed set of words (based on Bible verses) and actions. 

When you arrive, you'll be shown to the narthex, the area of church just outside our sanctuary, where the worship service will take place.  Lots of visiting going on here! Bring the family, we love children at worship. In fact, if you have a young one, grab one of the bags near the sanctuary door.  Each bag contains crayons, paper and other items to interest children.

As you head into the sanctuary, one of our ushers will hand you a BULLETIN with the order of service printed or outlined for you (no overhead projected graphical displays in our sanctuary).  Find a seat, hopefully near somebody who can answer any questions you may have.  You'll hear music - usually an organist is playing from up in the balcony, which we call our choir loft.  We have a beautiful pipe organ that we love to hear.

 

Don't worry about being "called out" - we want to meet you and learn your name but we want you to feel welcome and participate in the service.  Don't be nervous!

We like music!  While we don't all have angelic voices, we believe that God hears only beautiful music when we sing so SING out!  No points for remaining quiet.  Music is an integral part of worship.  The hymns are usually printed in the bulletin or a songbook, song title and page number is given to show you where we are.  Some hymns are newer, some are hundreds of years old.  We sing them all in English.  The Lutheran tradition goes back 500 years.  Martin Luther wrote many hymns.  Much of Bach's music was written for Lutheran services but we do get more contemporary at times, singing songs from the past 40 years.

As we gather -  The pastor faces us at the beginning - together we give our CONFESSION together as a group, reciting a printed statement.  The Pastor responds with ABSOLUTION as a called servant of God.  

What does this mean?  (A question that Lutherans love to ask)

  • Being honest with God and confessing we both are sinners and sin
  • Receiving Forgiveness from the Father through His Son
  • Calling to God to bless us with His mercy
  • Praising Him

The Service of the Word comes next:  The pastor faces us and starts by saying, "The Lord be with you" then we proceed to hear God's words to us - each day is unique.  We respond.

 

What does this mean? 

  • Reading from God's holy word
  • Saying what we believe (reciting together one of three Creeds that summarize our beliefs)
  • Singing together¬† - music is worship and prayer
  • Hearing God's word to us in a sermon
  • Presenting our gifts and prayers to God as the offering plate is passed

The Service of the Sacrament follows: The pastor again reminds us that God is present here and prepares us to receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion.  We meet and bow together at the altar rail to receive these gifts which strengthen and preserve us.

 

What does this mean?  It's a time to receive these life-sustaining gifts from God and to thank Him for his grace and mercy.

 

As we depart to serve:  One final time, the pastor extends God's blessings to us.  Time for one more song to reinforce that blessing and encourage us to share the good news we heard today as we go about our week.   The worship service may be over but, THANKS TO JESUS, we are equipped to take that message out into the world!

 

After the service, the pastor or others in the congregation will share announcements.  You will make your way out of the church, dismissed by rows to allow some time to meet and greet others and a chance to meet our pastor if you haven't done so before the service. 

 

After our early service, we serve coffee and donuts in our FAMILY LIFE CENTER at the opposite end of the building.  Then it's off to Sunday School.  Our adult classes are held in several locations on the main floor; classes for children take place in the Sunday School area on the lower floor of the Family Life Center.  Ask for directions when you pick up a donut.

 

 

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