Wonder what to expect if you are a first time visitor? Read below for answers to some frequently asked questions.
LITURGY— Liturgy isn’t an actual portion of the worship service, but it is a word that is often used in regards to worship gatherings. The word literally means, “Work of the People,” highlighting the communal emphasis of our worship. The service styles and shapes may change throughout the year, but the key components of Gather, Word, Communion and Sending always will be found in the service.
CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS –- We begin our worship by confessing our sin as a community and hearing the promises of God’s forgiveness. It’s a reminder that no one in the room is perfect, except for the God who can love and forgive us all.
STANDING/KNEELING/SITTING? — Why the Christian calisthenics? During different parts of the service we mix standing, sitting or kneeling to enhance our experience of God’s presence to show respect and humility. Do what is most comfortable for you as you worship.
GOSPEL ACCLAMATION — This praise song is the component of our opening liturgy. It celebrates the story of good news we are about to hear in the gospel. Most of the time, we will stand to show respect for the amazing gift of Jesus’ story. What’s with all the singing by the way? — Lutherans are big fans of singing as a way to express God’s presence, praise, and conversation with and about the Lord. Martin Luther found it to be a powerful way to experience the Word and presence of God.
READINGS AND SERMON — After we have gathered, the service turns to focus on God’s Word. Scriptures from the Old and New Testament are read and a sermon is preached. Through both the reading and preaching, the good news of God’s grace is proclaimed.
CREED — At the midpoint of the worship service we gather together as the People of God and we confess the faith of the Church using one of the Creeds. In confessing the Creeds together, we boldly declare to one another what God is like and what we stand for as Christians.
PASSING OF THE PEACE — We pass the peace in anticipation of the celebration of Holy Communion – attempting to reconcile our earthly relationships before coming to the Lord’s Table. Feel free to shake hands, hug, or greet people around you in a way that is comfortable for you.
OFFERING — As a part of worship, we gather the monetary blessings, not as a charity drive, but rather as an act of worship where we give of ourselves for the sake of others. We often say “our tithes,” which is the Biblical model of giving the first 10 percent to the Lord for the work of the church.
GREAT THANKSGIVING / HOLY COMMUNION — All of the songs and prayers that are encompassed under The Great Thanksgiving remind us of the entire history of salvation and prepare us to receive the presence of Jesus Christ through the bread and wind of Holy Communion. Everyone is welcome to join in this celebration! Grape juice and gluten-free wafers are available if those are helpful for you. More instructions are always given right before communion takes place. Just follow the people in front of you!
BENEDICTION — This closing blessing sends us out into the world filled with God’s promises and empowers us to share these promises with others.