What to Expect in Worship

God’s people gather at 9 a.m. at First Lutheran Church for Worship.

Here is what you can expect:

Here people of all ages come together to worship God and to connect with and care for one another. We come as we are, we gather for prayer and praise, and to be fed and sent into the world to live more fully as the people God calls us to be.

Typically worship at First Lutheran will include the following:

Confession and Forgiveness

Lutheran understanding is that everyone is a sinner and stands in need of God’s forgiveness. On most Sundays the words of confession and forgiveness will be shared.

Bible Readings

There will be up to 4 readings from the Bible on each Sunday. These are taken from the Old Testament, Psalms, a New Testament letter, and one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

The Involvement of Children in Worship

The children are invited to come and sit at the front of the sanctuary to hear a special message meant for them. They may also be encouraged to come forward so they can be better able to see and participate in a baptism or to assist in a special blessing.

Sermon

The pastor’s sermon is normally related to one of the Bible readings for the day. It provides an opportunity for the pastor to talk about how God’s word impacts our lives.

Holy Communion

Holy Communion is offered at First Lutheran Church each Sunday. Lutherans believe that we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ in, with and under the bread and wine we consume during the Lord’s Supper. Everyone who believes that Jesus Christ died for their sins is welcome to join us in Holy Communion. On the first Sunday of the month worshipers proceed to the altar rail and kneel (if able) to receive the bread and wine. A server will place the wafer in your hand. You will receive the wine (or grape juice) from the tray of the communion assistant. (The grape juice is found in the glasses in the inner circle of the tray.) On the other Sundays of the month communion is received by intinction. Once you receive the wafer in your hand, you would proceed to the wine to dip it into the wine. If your need or preference is grape juice of gluten free wafers, they are available at the center station. Children who have been instructed in the meaning of Holy Communion are welcome to participate. Children who have not received instruction may come to the altar to receive a blessing. If you are physically unable to proceed to the altar, notify an usher and Holy Communion can be brought to you in your pew. If you do not wish to participate in Holy Communion, simply remain seated in your pew.

Prayer

Through our prayers, we communicate with God. Our prayers of joy, concern, praise and thanksgiving are all brought to God. We offer intercessions for those in particular need. During the prayer time you will have the opportunity to pray for individuals that are in need of our prayers.

Creed

Reciting one of the ancient creeds of the church (usually either the Apostles or Nicene Creed) is an expression of our beliefs.

Hymns

Music is another of the many gifts we bring to God. Music is chosen as it relates to the theme of the day. A wide variety of hymns are sung in worship. You may join in the singing or just listen to the words.

Offering

This is the time when we can give back to God a portion of the gifts God has so generously given us. Please do not feel obligated to contribute. The offering is an expectation of members to support the ministry offered by First Lutheran Church. Visitors are welcome to offer support but no one will think twice if you simply pass the offering plate on by.

Sharing of the Peace

This is a chance to greet some of the people around you and share the peace of our Lord. Everyone wanders around a bit shaking hands and sharing greetings such as “Peace of the Lord” or just a simple “Good morning!” This is not just a time for simple greetings but an opportunity for us to work for peace in our lives and our relationships.

Blessing and Sending

Worship concludes with a blessing and a sending. Those who gather are always reminded that what is shared in this hour impacts our entire lives. Normally the assisting minister will say, “Go in peace, serve the Lord.” And the congregation replies, “Thanks be to God!”

Who is Involved

Many people make possible the worship that is shared together on Sunday mornings. Ushers and greeters welcome people and ensure they have a worship bulletin to guide worshipers in the service. Altar Guild members work behind the scenes to prepare the altar for Holy Communion or the font for Baptism. Volunteers (lectors) read the lessons. Choirs offer anthems and leadership of the music. An Assisting Minister helps lead the worship. Communion assistants help distribute the Sacrament. Acolytes light the candles and assist in receiving the offering. The Pastor preaches and leads worship. And all those gathered join hearts and voices together in praise and worship of God.

Children in Worship

Children are always welcome in worship. While they may not understand all that happens and may even be distracting at times, it is important for the whole family to be involved in worship. At the same time, a staffed nursery is provided for children of preschool age.