Gathering together for public worship is the primary activity of the Christian church and a distinct privilege granted by our Savior God (Acts 2:42, Hebrews 10:25, Psalm 122:1). “God invites us to come into his presence and worship him with humble and penitent hearts…” that phrase often begins our worship services. These four paragraphs describe our view of worship.
CHRIST-CENTERED. There is no activity on earth as important as the saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ. In worship we focus on the work of Christ—his holy life, his sacrificial death, his resurrection from the grave, and his gracious calling to follow him. From liturgies and hymns, to Bible readings, to prayers and praises—everything points to Jesus Christ!
MESSAGE-FOCUSED. The main message of our church has been called the gospel (good news), and we believe it has the power to transform hearts, minds, and lives. At our worship times we focus on the message that the Bible calls “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16) . We read it; we preach it; and we apply it in visible forms (Holy Baptism and Holy Communion).
JOYFULLY DIGNIFIED. Meeting with God is no casual occasion. We consider it an awesome privilege to stand before our Savior-God as a congregation, seek his mercy, and praise his name. We try to reflect that with a decorum that might be called joyful dignity. By the liturgies we follow with their scripted responses, by the un-casual vestments of our ministers, by the times for listening in silence as well as exuberant singing of meaningful, Bible-based hymns and songs, we wish to tell God, “We are incredibly thankful for the mercies you show us, we’re honored to be in your presence!”
PEOPLE-CARING. Worship is also a social occasion, as God’s people raise their hearts and voices together before him. They “speak” to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as well as with bold confessions of faith. We care about the people who come to worship our Lord and warmly welcome newcomers into the sanctuary of God—all dearly loved by their Savior, all dearly paid for by his blood. Children of all ages, too, are welcomed in our worship time.
A few basics will help you as you join us:
TIME: Come about ten minutes early to allow yourself time to visit the restrooms, pick up a bulletin (printed outline of the service and news about church events), and get situated in the church sanctuary (worship area). The service usually lasts about an hour and begins at 10 AM on Sunday mornings.
ATTIRE: We have no dress code as a church, and there is a wide variety of attire among the worshipers. Boots and jeans are as common as suits and ties. Let your clothing reflect the reverence and awe that is in your heart as you enter into God’s house.
CHILDREN: We enjoy having children in worship much like children are a part of Thanksgiving dinner at grandma’s house. Don’t be too concerned that they sometimes get antsy. We offer several quiet activities for toddlers to enjoy during the service. We do not offer separate child care; we like for children to be a part of our worship life and realize that sometimes they make noise. If you feel that you need to take your child out of the sanctuary for a moment, don’t worry! There are speakers throughout the building so you will still be able to hear the service.
FORMAT: We print out an outline of our order of worship that allows everyone to follow along and take part in readings, prayers, hymns, and songs. That order of worship is called a liturgy, and comes from ancient roots. We use a variety of liturgies, along with special music at times.
OFFERING (or collection of gifts): We gather an offering in the service as part of our worship of God. That offering helps us do the work God has given us to do. But we don’t expect guests to feel obligated to support our ministry. Feel free to let the offering plate pass you by. But if you want to take part, your check or cash will be used to help spread the good news of Jesus.
COMMUNION: On the third Sunday of each month we celebrate Holy Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Because this sacrament assumes that participants are united in faith and confession, we ask that only confirmed members of our church body, the WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) or our sister church, the ELS (Evangelical Lutheran Synod) come forward to commune. Don’t feel awkward about simply sitting and meditating during that part of the service; many do that. If you’d like to talk more about this our Pastor would be glad to speak with you.