What to Expect

A Warm Welcome: We want you to experience a cordial welcome, when you come: someone to greet you, offer you a service folder, answer questions you may have, and if desired, have someone sit with you to help you follow the service.

 

Dress: Since our members come from a variety of backgrounds, you will see some dressing up a bit and others being more informal. Most clothing is appropriate;  we just want you to know we would like you to come.

 

The pastor will often wear a white robe with a colored stole. The stole is the sign that he has been ordained to be a Lutheran pastor. Its color matches the season of the church year, as do the hangings on the altar and the pulpit. Blue is the color of hope and is used in the season before Christmas. White is the color of purity, joy, and victory. We use it during the Christmas and Easter seasons and the early part of the Epiphany season, the season after Christmas where Jesus is revealing His glory. The season of Lent is a time of repentance and preparation; we use purple for this season. Red is used for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and for festivals of the church. Green is the color of growth and is used for the most part during the long non-festival half of the church year, called the Sundays after Pentecost. Colors are meant to foster our growth in the Christian faith and enrich our appreciation for different emphases throughout the church’s year.

 

Worship’s Form: Typically, Lutheran worship is liturgical. As a result, you can expect our worship to follow certain general patterns, which reflect the practice of centuries of Christian worship. There will be a variety of activities: singing, praying, listening to Scripture and a message, confessing our faith, etc. There is a dramatic element to it, but its purpose always remains the same: to strengthen our relationship with God and one another.

 

Holy Communion: A very important aspect of most worship services is the celebration of Holy Communion. Jesus’ own authorization of this sacrament guides our practice. We believe that with the bread Jesus gives us His body and with the wine, He gives us His blood. This is a mystery which transcends our comprehension, but when we realize how He lived and served and suffered and died for our sins, we take our reason captive and let His Word prevail. Through this means He bestows to us the best gift of all: the forgiveness of sins. With this gift we know He is with us; we are one with Him and one another. The future is open. We know Jesus is our Lord in a most personal way.

 

With this tremendous gift offered to us, we want to come in a worthy manner–repenting of our sin, trusting in our Savior, resolving to amend our sinful lives and to live in communion with our gracious God. Since the sacrament can be received in a way that harms rather than helps the communicant, we follow Paul’s advice and encourage all of our communicants to examine themselves and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. We respectfully ask those who have not yet been baptized and have not been instructed in the meaning of this Holy Meal, or who hold a different understanding of the sacrament to refrain from receiving the elements, but to feel free to come forward to receive a personal blessing from the pastor. Please indicate this by crossing your arms across your chest (the St. Andrew’s cross). Since we want all to benefit from this sacred meal, we ask those who have doubts or questions, to speak with the pastor.