We would like to extend a warm welcome to you to join us for worship. The following is an explanation of our service, so that you will know what to expect.
Order of Service
Our congregation follows a “liturgical” order of service. This means that there is a basic framework or structure in our worship that remains essentially the same each Sunday. This also means that there are many elements in our worship that change from week to week, according to a pattern that repeats itself every year. This kind of service, which has been used by the historic Christian Church for 2,000 years, provides a proper balance of continuity and variety in each Sunday’s service.
The orders of service that we follow are from the front part of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, which is the hymnal published by our church body. For the convenience of worshipers, the entire text of the service – with the exception of the hymns – is printed in the bulletin. (The music for those parts of the service that are sung can be found in the hymnal.) The hymns that are appointed for today’s service are indicated in the bulletin and on the hymn board at the front of the church.
God is the primary actor and speaker in worship. In the Liturgy he speaks to us through the Scripture readings, and also through the other components of the service that enshrine and convey his dual message of judgment against sin, and forgiveness in Christ. As God speaks to us in these ways, his Word molds and shapes our response, so that we then say back to him the things that he would want us to say. We come to church, not so much to tell God what we think, or to express ourselves to God, but in humility to learn from God, and to be instructed and guided by his Word in how we should call upon him. This is why the prayers and hymns that we use have an objective and “doctrinal” quality about them.
Gathering before the Lord to hear his Word and to offer him our prayers is a very serious matter. It is not to be done in a frivolous or lighthearted manner, but with reverence and sobriety. When we enter into the Lord’s presence in worship, we are, in a sense, transported into a higher realm – a sacred realm of eternal realities. Our use of symbolism and ceremony testifies to our conviction that the worship of almighty God is something special, and unlike anything else we may do in other arenas of life in this world.
Children are always welcome to attend our services and participate as much as they are able. We have cry room in the back in case an infant or toddler needs a minute to “compose themselves”.
We hope and pray that you will be blessed by the ministry of God’s Word during your time with us.
Communion, the Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is available in our congregation every Sunday. We believe that participation in the Lord’s Supper should be preceded by a course of instruction in the teachings of Scripture and of our church, concerning this sacrament and other important articles of faith. We also believe that such participation serves as a public testimony of unity in faith among those who are communing together. We therefore do not follow an “open Communion” practice. But even if you are not communing with us today, God’s grace is still offered to you in his saving Gospel, as it is proclaimed in the Scripture readings, in the sermon, and in the hymns.
The Bible teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is His gift to us. It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God. Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. As our guest, please do not feel obligated to give.