Why We Worship
People who are aware of their relationship with God have always felt the need to respond to God’s love and mercy, whether through prayer, or song or some other act of devotion. When we speak of worship, we mean the assembly of the people of God in communal prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, guided by God’s Holy Word and Sacraments, which is why Holy Communion is offered weekly at each worship time.
Sunday Worship Times & Styles
8:00am Classic Lutheran Worship
Classic Lutheran worship liturgy from the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book with hymns led predominantly by a pipe organ.
9:30am Reflections Worship
Reflections “hands free” worship is intended to be more interactive than traditional worship and consequently often creates a greater sense of community among participants. It begins at 9:30 in the current Parlor on the Library level of the church with a lay worship leader using the Power Point slides to lead participants in an initial time of sharing followed by the Prayer of the Day and Scripture lesson for the day. Rather than a sermon preached by a pastor, the lay leader facilitates participants in sharing how the Scripture reading applies to one’s daily life and faith. Participants will join the sanctuary worship during the singing of the Hymn of the Day for the Meal and Sending portions of worship.
9:30am Classic Lutheran Worship
Classic Lutheran worship liturgy like the 8:00 worship with the addition of choir anthems by the Adult Choir each week and one of the other six choirs most weeks from September through May. Children aged 4 to Grade 6 attend Sunday school classes before joining families in sanctuary worship for the Meal and Sending portion of worship. Blessing services for children are held during this worship time that celebrates various milestones in a child’s faith formation (see Faith Stepping Stones in the Grow section for more details on this ministry).
Three worship times are available to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord. All worship times include Holy Communion and candlelight singing of “Silent Night” and the incorporation of many carols sung in lieu of portions of the traditional liturgy.
5:00pm Family Worship
This worship time features anthems by the Cherub and Children’s Choirs as well as all children in attendance welcomed to the front for a special Children’s Message.
8:00pm Traditional/Youth Worship
The Youth Choir and Bell Choir are the featured choir at this service and returning college students are invited to join them in singing familiar anthems if they choose. The Pastor delivers the Christmas Message from the pulpit or aisle.
10:00pm Classic “Midnight” Worship
The Adult Choir and Bell Choir are the featured choirs at this service with the Christmas Message preached from the pulpit or aisle. While it does not begin at midnight it is often referred to as the Midnight Mass or Midnight Service by many.
Holy Week & Easter
Focuses on Jesus’ new command (mandate) to love one another and institution of the Lord’s Supper on the night of his betrayal. Absolution by laying on of hands and stripping of the altar at the end of worship are also highlights of this worship. Two worship times are available:
- Noon: Worship is a spoken liturgy with no hymns sung. Holy Communion is by intinction.
- 7:30 PM: Worship music is led by organ or piano with Holy Communion being received while kneeling at the communion rail. The Adult Choir provides the anthem.
Good Friday Tenebrae
This 7:30 PM “service of shadows” places extreme emphasis on the cross of Christ and is marked by a somber tone. Lights are dimmed as the candles representing Christ’s last words are extinguished and the congregation again leaves the worship in silent and meditative reflection.
The Resurrection of Our Lord (8:00, 9:30, & 11:00)
All three worship offerings are identical with Holy Communion offered at all three. The alleluia of song returns to the liturgy and hymnody after a long absence during Lent. Those attending the 8:00 worship also participate in a brief component of the Vigil of Easter worship where the light of Christ symbolized as the Christ Candle enters our lives at the beginning of this worship.