Every church has its own style of worship. We know that going to an unfamiliar church can be a bit daunting. Knowing a little about the church and worship service ahead of time can make it feel a little less unfamiliar.
St. Paul Lutheran, and most Lutheran churches, worship together as one large group. We follow a format (liturgy) that is shared by many ELCA churches. Whether you have it committed to heart or follow along with each step of the worship in the printed bulletin, the service provides us a way to praise God and to learn about Him through readings and teaching.
Each week the service is printed up in the bulletin. This includes all of the prayers, readings/lessons, songs and easy to find references to the hymns. You are also welcome to bring along your own Bible if you desire.
Welcoming to Worship
The congregation is welcomed to be seated in the sanctuary at any time before the start of service. Some people use it as a time of prayer and reflection and others celebrate the community of Christ by interacting with other members. As the prelude music concludes the congregation is greeted and we share current events, happenings and upcoming activities in the church.
Admitting Sin and Asking for Forgiveness
As a community we admit that we are all sinners. We acknowledge that we have not always done what God has asked of us and ask God to forgive us through the grace of Jesus Christ who died for our sins.
God’s Word continually reveals new things to us. We read a lesson from the Old Testament, New Testament and one from the Gospel. These lessons often center on a theme that informs the sermon.
The pastor provides a sermon that brings God’s Word to life and applies it to our everyday lives. We hear God’s instruction for how we should live our lives, deal with our daily problems and the encouragement of the eternal life promised to us through the grace of Jesus Christ.
Praising God & Prayers
We praise God throughout the service through song and prayer. Hymns are either printed in the bulletin or found in the hymnals located in each pew. Occasionally the choir or orchestra will offer up special music. The assistant minister also offers up prayers for the people of God and the church as a whole.
We profess our faith in the fundamental beliefs of Christianity through the creed. Everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is Lord is welcome to celebrate. Communion is taken at the front by intinction (dipping) or through the common cup. If you have any questions about communion, don’t hesitate to ask the people sitting around you.
After communion, we receive a parting blessing sing the closing hymn and are sent into the world to do God’s will. After services we also typically enjoy fellowship and coffee with each other building stronger relationships that will carry us until we meet again.