We understand that it may be intimidating to walk into an unfamiliar church. No matter who you are, we want you to feel welcome - God's love is for all.
Every church has its own way of doing things, and if you are visiting for the first time it can be difficult to follow what is going on. This guide is intended to give you some idea of what to expect when you visit. While you are with us, we encourage you to ask someone if you are unsure of what is going on at any time.
Parking is available on the street next to the church. You may enter from the front double doors or the side door (the members' favorite entrance).
We welcome all children to attend our services. If you feel uncomfortable with your child's noise level, we have a nursery room located next to our Sunday School area, but rest assured that our members love children of all ages. Baptized children are members of God's family and they too can make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Like most people, our members try to make their worship time an important and special time. One may dress casually and rejoice in having a God who will accept us as we are; another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Lord and Savior. When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress (casual or formal) is acceptable to God and us.
At Concordia, the historic liturgy of the Lutheran Church and hymns provide the context for our worship. The Divine Service in the five different settings (found in the Lutheran Service Book) is the order of service as we celebrate the holy Sacrament of Altar each week. Our use of the historic liturgy and hymns is in keeping with God’s Word and continuous with the Church of all times and places. We recognize that the historic liturgy and hymns can be unfamiliar to others, and we welcome the opportunity to help anyone come to appreciate and treasure them as we do.
Currently we gather for the Divine Service at 10:45 each Sunday. We call our worship service the “Divine Service” because it is God who serves His gifts to his people: the gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation.
Before the Service
As you arrive for The Service, you will be provided with a bulletin that gives information about the service and about the congregation. In each pew is the Lutheran Service Book which contain all the orders of worship and hymns used for worship. Visitors who are not members of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are asked to refrain from coming to the altar for the Sacrament.
The Opening of the Service
There are three sections to the Divine Service: Confession and Absolution, Service of the Word and Service of the Sacrament.
The service begins with the words, “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” As these God’s name is spoken, you may make the sign of the cross to remember your Baptism.
We then kneel as we proceed to confess our sins to God, and then the pastor declares God’s forgiveness to us. When the pastor says these words of absolution, he is speaking on behalf of Jesus, and we can be as sure of God’s forgiveness of us as surely as if Jesus were saying those words with his own lips.
The Service of the Word
The service then continues with “the Service of the Word”. This starts with the pastor and congregation reciting a psalm or the singing of a hymn. The Kyrie, Hymn of Praise and Prayer follow leading up to the reading of God’s Holy Word. All of God’s Word is relevant so we include a reading from the Old Testament, a reading from one of the New Testament letters and rise for the reading of the Holy Gospel. At Concordia we use the historical 3 year series of readings. After the readings there is a special message for the children, the sermon hymn and then the sermon.
The Lutheran Sermon has always been most unique to all denominations because all sermons are Law and Gospel. The Law shows our sins while the Gospel shows how Christ has accomplished forgiveness of all our sins by dying for our sins. The sermon lets us know that God loves us and has mercy on us for Christ’s sake.
At the completion of the sermon we often express our faith as a group by reciting one of the creeds of the Church. Depending on the service, the Creed is confessed before or after the sermon.
The Offering is taken and is an opportunity to give as God has given to us. It is also time for members to submit, in the offering plate, any prayers to be mentioned in the prayers of the Church. The Prayers of the Church complete the Service of the Word and leads into the Service of the Sacrament.
The Service of the Sacrament
The liturgy of the Service of the Sacrament is as old as the Holy Christian Church. The Service of the Sacrament is a time to remember the journey Jesus took from His entrance into Jerusalem to the night in which He was betrayed to His suffering and death that led to His glorious resurrection and His coming again for the final judgment. As we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. We believe that in, with and under the bread and the wine is the very true body and blood of Jesus.
End of the Service, and After
After the distribution of the Supper, there is a closing prayer and then a final hymn. We depart with the love of Christ dwelling in our hearts and a brotherly love that is extended to all.