What is Worship?
Public worship, or the Divine Service, is the most public representation of a church and communicates what any congregation believes, teaches, and confesses. Like all Christian churches, we seek to follow Christ’s exhortation in John 4: 23, 24, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” As sacramental Lutheran Christians, our identity is evident in our worship. We know that there have been and still are many valid expressions of corporate worship utilized by different cultures throughout the history of the Church, sometimes evidenced in the variety of worship practices which may be observed today in the LCMS. We realize that worship is an important factor for everyone who visits a church, and we want you to be as comfortable as possible with our Lutheran substance of worship and hope these questions and answers will help you understand our congregation’s identity.
When is Communion Offered? May I participate in it?
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper, sometimes known as communion or eucharist, on the first and third Sundays of the month, plus every Sunday during Advent and Lent, and every festival Sunday (Christmas Eve, Easter, Reformation, Pentecost, etc.) Paul writes in I Cor. 16, “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” The high point of the Lutheran service is one of the sacraments—baptism or communion. If you are not a member of an LCMS congregation, we ask that you talk to a pastor before communing.
“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1Corinthians 11:27-29
Being admonished to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in a worthy manner, Lutheran Christians should prepare their hearts for reception of this sacrament by privately answering the following:
1. Do I believe that I am a sinful human being without hope of eternal life except for God’s mercy in Christ?
2. Do I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and my Savior?
3. Do I believe that He is present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion with His Body and Blood?
4. Do I hope by the power of the Holy Spirit to live a godly life?
WHEN YOU COME TO THE LORD’S SUPPER you are affirming with each communicant that Jesus is your Savior and Lord, that you believe His Body and Blood are present, and that you desire to serve Him as a dynamic disciple in the fellowship of the church.
Do you have different styles of worship services?
Each service is shaped by the liturgical year and the readings of the day (the lectionary.) We follow a predictable and ordered service format taken from one of the five Divine Service liturgies found in our denomination’s hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book. Our early and late services are identical in order that we can communicate the same timeless truths of Christianity to everyone, regardless of their preferred service time. We sing from the Lutheran Service Book, the official hymnal of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
Do you have a praise band?
Do you use the creeds? Why don’t you just use scripture?
The Lutheran Church is a confessional church, meaning we hold the Apostles’, Nicene and Athanasian Creeds to be faithful explications of what scripture teaches. We believe they summarize the essential elements of Christianity—the nature of God the Father as Creator, the Son as the Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as the Sustainer of the Church Universal. Everyone has a creed of some sort—it just may not be written down formally. We recite our statements of beliefs weekly so that we are reminded of the essentials of our faith. Many people recite the creeds from memory. However, along with the rest of the service, the creed is printed in the bulletin so you can read it as you are comfortable. Our Lutheran liturgy is full of scripture. We sing or recite a psalm (or introit) most weeks, we sing “Glory be to God on high” from Luke 2, we sing “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of power and might” (Isaiah 6:3), we pray “Lord, now let Your servants depart in peace” (Luke 2: 29) and weekly pray the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11) and are dismissed to one of many scriptural benedictions. We follow the lectionary, meaning we listen to three portions of scripture during most worship services: the Old Testament lesson, the Epistle lesson (taken from Paul’s letters in the New Testament) and one of Gospels. We hope that everyone reads their Bible at home; but, if they don’t, we want to make sure everyone is nourished in God’s Word on Sunday morning.
What can I expect when I attend Lord of Life?
Whether you attend at 8:00 am or 10:45 am, you will be welcomed at the door by greeters who will give you an order of service. You are welcome to sit anywhere—there are no assigned pews! Chairs at the end of the rows have armrests for those needing them. We stand for most prayers and many hymns, but are seated at other times. Just follow the rest of the congregation. It is our goal that God will work through our worship so that we all might know Him in “spirit and in truth.”
What is the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod?
With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God's Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God.
We accept and teach Bible-based teachings of Martin Luther which can be summarized in three short phrases: Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
Grace alone: God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him and do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.
Faith alone: By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased and won forgiveness and eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.
Scripture alone: The Bible is God's inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.
What does "Synod" mean?
The word "Synod" in The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod comes from Greek words that mean "walking together." The term has rich meaning in our church body, because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod. Though diverse in their service, these congregations hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions which they believe are a correct interpretation and presentation of Biblical doctrine. Contained in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, these statements of belief were put into writing by church leaders during the 16th century. The simplest of these is Luther's Small Catechism, and the Augsburg Confession gives more detail on what Lutherans believe. Visit the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's website for more information.
How do I become a member of Lord of Life Lutheran Church?
1) Transferring your membership from another LCMS Congregation: Please contact the Church Office.
2) Transferring your membership from another denomination or adult baptism, confirmation, & profession of faith:
Our Lutheran Information Class for Adults (LICA) prepares adults for church membership at Lord of Life. For those who come from a (non-LCMS) Lutheran background, these classes serve as a kind of "refresher" course in Lutheran doctrine, and as a way of clarifying the differences between the LCMS and other Lutherans. For those coming from other denominations, these classes provide a thorough overview of the LCMS' central and foundational teachings and beliefs. This 10 week interactive study is offered on an as need basis. Contact Pastor Shaltanis for more information.
How do I arrange for my child to be baptized at Lord of Life?
Please contact Pastor Shaltanis.
What is confirmation? How do I enroll my child in confirmation classes at Lord of Life?
Basic information on confirmation can be found here. Please contact Pastor Shaltanis for more information.
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