Since we are a liturgical, confessional congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), our worship services are a little different than others. It's important to us that our visitors don't feel nervous or confused during worship, so we hope the information below helps prepare you for what our services are like. We hope you'll join us in worship!
What To Expect When You Worship With Us
As You Enter: Our pastor looks forward to greeting you as you enter the building before service. Most Sundays, you will also find members of the congregation alongside the pastor, welcoming you as you come in. As you enter the Sanctuary, there will be an usher handing out worship bulletins that contain the hymns and liturgy that will be used during the Divine Service. There are no assigned seats, so feel free to sit anywhere. Hymnals are located in the pews. The hymn page numbers listed in the worship bulletin are also listed on the wall at the front of the sanctuary.
The Divine Service: Our worship services follow a traditional format using the liturgical tradition of the Lutheran Church as currently found in our church body's hymnal--Lutheran Service Book. "Liturgy" refers to the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions. For us, this includes, but is not limited to, the Kyrie, collect, Scripture readings, the sermon, prayers, communion, canticles, and hymns. Some of the customs we practice are standing to listen to Scriptural readings of the Gospel, standing during the last verse of some hymns (the "Trinity verse"--indicated by a triangle next to the verse in the hymnal) out of reverence to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to whom the verse is referring, and kneeling at the altar rail during communion. After the final hymn, the pastor will dismiss the congregation with a benediction (blessing). He will then briefly share church announcements and close the service with a parting thought based on the sermon.
Communion: Holy Communion is celebrated on the first and third Sundays of each month. Scripture teaches that Christ's body and blood are truly received by all communicants during the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:23-30), and that all who partake of it are to have true unity in the faith that they confess (1 Cor. 10:16-17). Our celebration of the Lord's Supper is reserved for members in good standing of congregations affiliated with The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. We ask that visitors from sister LCMS congregations convey their desire to commune with us to our pastor or an elder before joining us at the Lord's Table. If you are not a member of our church body, we ask that you please honor our practice by refraining from coming forward during Communion. Others in our midst don't come up to the communion rails for various reasons, so you won't be the only one sitting in the pews! If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with the pastor.
Children: We're happy to have children attend worship service. For your convenience, there is a changing table in the women's restroom. The restrooms are located by the coat rack in the narthex (foyer). Most Sundays, except during the summer, Pastor will welcome the children to come up front for a "Children's Message" (very brief version of the sermon, using words and reasoning that kids can understand) before the hymn that's right before the sermon.
Interested in becoming a member?
Pastors of LCMS congregations typically conduct a series of instruction/membership classes for adults who are interested in joining the congregation or learning more about what the LCMS believes. The length and nature of these classes varies from congregation to congregation. For those who come from a (non-LCMS) Lutheran background, these classes serve as a kind of "refresher" course in Lutheran doctrine, and as a way of clarifying the differences between the LCMS and other Lutherans. For those coming from other denominations or without a church background, these classes provide a thorough overview of the LCMS' central and foundational teachings and beliefs. Please talk with Pastor if you have any questions! We would love to welcome you into our church family.