What to Expect @ Worship
Regular Worship Every Sunday
Sunday Morning services:
9:15 a.m. Worship
Children's Sunday School:
9:15 a.m. upstairs
Attire: Come as you are.
Baptism is the most central act of faith for a Christian. It is the most important event that can happen in one's life. If you are interested in being baptized, please talk to the Pastor.
Most weeks we celebrate a remembrance of baptism. Often this is done through confession and forgiveness, where we name collectively and privately the ways we've continued to sin (i.e. fail, do wrong, mess up, not do good) and then here again the promise of baptism that we are forgiven.
On festival Sundays, we often simply praise God for the gift of baptism and its power to make all things new.
Those who aren't baptized are invited to participate in this time and hear these words as both a promise of what Christ has already accomplished on the Cross and as a witness to the day when you yourself are baptized and hear that promise spoken to you.
Each week we share peace. It's a sign to one another that we are renewed in the gospel and restored to love again.
When you share the peace, please share it in a way that is comfortable to you. Often we shake hands and say, "Peace be with you." But some people are comfortable with hugs, and other people choose to fist bump in lieu of a handshake. It's OK to say no to an action that makes you uncomfortable; after all, it's the sharing of peace. If we don't feel peace doing the activity, then we've missed the whole point.
Throughout the service, we offer our prayers to God. Sunday worship is primarily a service of praise and worship, so many of the prayers are focused on giving thanks and praise to God.
At one point in the service, we take time to pray for the needs of the congregation, the Church, the world, the nations, and all those in need. These prayers are always much shorter than they need to be; there is simply never enough time to pray for every need and concern we have.
Because we could never have enough time to pray for all we need, we offer two prayer services each month where we can focus our time on this important activity. If you would like to spend additional time in prayer, please join us.
Singing is a regular part of worship. Luther said to sing is to pray twice. Our music varies from classic hymns to contemporary worship songs to Christian world music. We simply pick the music we feel will best aid the worship.
The words for most of the songs we sing can be found on the screens, but we also try to provide printed music when possible. If it's a song from our red hymnal, the hymn number will be posted at the top right of the screen. Feel free to open the hymnal to see the music.
Our faith is guided by the words of the Bible. Each week we spend time hearing the stories of Scripture, often following the Revised Common Lectionary, a journey through Scripture shared by many Christians across the world.
Scripture is important, but without guidance, we don't always know how it applies to our lives, nor do we always hear the Good News God is trying to speak to us through the stories we hear.
The Pastor takes time during the service to help us understand the Scriptures and hear the Good News in the Bible and how it might apply to us today. This is traditionally called a sermon in the Church.
At one point in the service, we collect an offering. This is a freewill donation to support the workings of the congregation and the ministry of the Church. As a visitor, you are not expected to give, but as a person called by Christ, you are welcome to give as the Spirit moves you.
A portion of the offerings received go to the wider ministry in our area and around the world.
From the outside, communion looks like a paltry meal of bread and festive drink (usually wine). From the inside, we believe communion is an act of remembering our unity to each other in Christ, a renewal of the presence of Christ within us, and a foretaste of the heavenly feast to come.
Historically, communion was called the one repeatable act of baptism. It's a weekly taste of the new life God gave us in baptism. As such, all the baptized are invited to partake in communion.
We know no one can receive communion unless Christ has called them. If you are not baptized and feel called to communion, you are welcome to participate.
Often people feel uncomfortable remaining in their seat even if they don't feel called to communion. If you do not feel comfortable receiving communion but do not want to remain seated, please come forward and lay your hands over your heart or cross your arms over your chest. The Pastor will pray a blessing over you instead.
Gluten-free wafers and grape juice is available for those who need it. Dietary needs should not keep someone from receiving the blessings of Christ.