What Worship Means to Us
Worship means so many things to so many people. How it is approached and conducted is usually one of the most important personal preferences people have in choosing a church. Our intent in worship is to gather God's people together; give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to speak to them through the readings of the Bible Testaments, the related sermon, prayers and song; feed God's people with His nourishing Grace; offer God thanks and praise for his blessings, and send them with a blessing into the mission field of the world as an instrument of His work. In our service, these elements are presented in the following way...
Service begins with the Confession and Forgiveness of sins focused on the Baptismal Font. It is a way of recognizing our human imperfections, the ways we have not followed God's teachings, by either things we have done, or things we have left undone. This can be a very moving and humbling experience, as we reflect on our life actions as seen through God's eyes. And yet, while our self assessment can be disappointing, no matter how undeserving we may be forgiveness is given to all immediately! It is a glorious affirmation of God's promise of love and salvation! Renewed in His eyes, we enter into service with an uplifting hymn as the service focus moves to the front of the church.
The service continues with the most important, and often the most overlooked element of service - the readings. God's Word through scripture reveals to us His intention for our lives. We utilize both the Old and New Testament readings followed by a Gospel reading. The Sermon offered by the Pastor summarizes the readings, their context, and provides an interpretive lesson that demonstrates how God's Word is relevant to our lives. Additional prayers and songs provide many opportunities for the Holy Spirit to touch everyone open to hearing God's word.
We Share the Meal and Praise God for His Blessings
Following the sermon and the prayers, we prepare to receive Holy Communion. Communion begins with a sharing of God's Peace and an offering to God. We collect offering to present these gifts to God in recognition that they are truly His gifts TO US and we are simply the stewards of his blessings. Preparation to receive communion continues with a statement of belief, and the Lord's Prayer. As Lutherans, we believe that God is truly present in the entire service, but particularly during the meal. Accepting the body and blood is one of the great mystic experiences of being a believer. This is typically a quietly joyous part of the service, allowing prayer through the hymns or silent reflection during special music.
He Sends Us with Love
God sends us out into the world to be instruments of His love. We will undoubtedly fail Him in so many ways as we struggle through our daily life, but we are sent with the hope and promise of His love for us despite our many failings!
Following the Service is an opportunity for fellowship with coffee and snacks, followed by Adult Bible Studies