Main Page Header

How & Why
We Worship

Baptism on Easter Sunday
Pastor reading the Gospel

Why do We Worship?

If you asked a hundred members of a Lutheran Assembly why they went to church every Sunday, you would probably get 50 different responses. Some to be with a community of like-minded worshippers, some to feel God's presence, others for the comfort of peace they feel in God's house, etc. In other words, we are all different and have different needs and relationships. There is a common thread of our worship however, that binds us together as Lutherans. That is that we come to His house to accept His gifts and not to earn them. We all believe that God gathers us in His church so we might receive His gifts. These are the gifts of His Word, Baptism, His Supper and His Holy Absolution (forgiveness). Worship in essence calls us to get out of the way and let these things come to us, that we might receive them in gratitude and allow them to renew and shape our faith and lives. We are all sustained through these things. (Adapted from "Liturgy Solutions Fine Tuning") As we come to understand God's gift of Jesus to us we are moved to travel the path graciously laid out by Him. We serve God through serving our fellow man and community. We understand our many failings are known and forgiven before we even display them by Jesus our Savior.

Pastor reading the Gospel

How do We Worship?

Easter 2013 baptism

For the most part services are held on Sunday morning. There are special services held at other times such as weekday services held during the Lenten season. Our services are liturgical, which means we follow a set pattern of worship. A lot of us like to come 10 or 15 minutes early so we may visit with other members or enter the sanctuary to meditate while listening to our pianist/organist play beautiful contemplative music. As we enter the sanctuary, we are welcomed by ushers who hand us a worship folder. The worship folder is a guideline prepared by our pastor every week. It is an outline or syllabus of that week's service. The folder also contains information about upcoming events, parishoner news and on the back page is a brief meditation thought that is relevant to the day's service. The worship folder contains references to The Lutheran Book of Worship. This is a book that contains all of the hymns we sing as well as all of the prayers and devotions we say during the service. These two items allow us to fully and comfortably participate in all parts of the service. The actual service begins when the Pastor comes to the front of the assembly to welcome everyone, informally announce news that is relevant and give us a preview and explanation of the coming service. A gathering song is then sung by the assembly as the pastor leads a procession to the altar. This is followed by a brief order of "Confession and Forgiveness", a brief greeting, and then the "kyrie", which is a participatory prayer led by the Pastor. A prayer of the day is said and the days lessons (Bible readings) are recited. The first reading is by a member of the assembly. The second is read by the pastor and is always from one of the four Gospels. sharing of the peace A brief but topical sermon is then given by the pastor and another hymn is sung. Faith is then confessed by the use of one of the three main Creeds. Prayers of the church are done and followed by a greeting and hand shaking, in which a wish of our Lord's Peace is shared amongst the congregation. The offering is then collected by the ushers and brought to the front of the sanctuary during a offering hymn. A brief offertory prayer is also recited. Our communion begins. Pastor greeting exiting worshiperCommunion is our re-enactment of the Lord's Last Supper in which a wafer of bread and wine are shared with us. This is a regular part of our services. We are invited by pews up to the front where if we are able we kneel, otherwise we stand at the communion rail. After receiving the bread and wine, we return to our seats. As the communion continues, we listen to the music provided by our keyboardist and contemplate our relationship with Jesus and others. Finally, a sending hymn is sung as the pastor leads the procession to back of the church via the center aisle. The pastor dismisses the congregation, and the assistant pastor urges the congregation to "Go in peace! Serve the Lord!" or some similar sending. The congregation responds in all sincerity, "Thanks be to God!"