I’ve been to a Lutheran or an Episcopal worship service before. Great! Since you’ve been to either an Episcopal or Lutheran worship service, you’ll find things will look VERY similar at 209. Each Sunday service has the elements of Word and Sacrament. We use the same lectionary for readings from Scripture and everyone is welcome to receive the Sacrament. We don’t worship with a “Lutheran” service at one time and a separate “Episcopal” service at another time, but we take the common elements from each tradition and then share each other’s music and traditions, always striving to become one! The sanctuary is on the end of the building closest to Eastern Ave. We give everyone a name tag so you won’t be alone if someone guides you to that name tag table. We print the whole service in the bulletin including music so there is no book juggling and you should be just fine!
I have never been to church before… or it’s been a REALLY long time… or it wasn’t a Lutheran or Episcopal church… or Wow I have no idea what to expect! Don’t worry! You can’t mess this up. Seriously, we’re all about inclusion, love and grace here and lots of us started exactly where you are now! You can’t do anything “wrong”. Really! When you come into the church building, the place we have worship is at the end of the building closest to Eastern Avenue. There will be an area where someone will greet you and get you a name tag. Everyone gets a name tag so don’t worry, you won’t stand out. From there you’ll go into the church and someone will give you a bulletin.
In that bulletin is everything you will need for the service. If you start at the beginning, you should be able to follow along and not get lost along the way. The light printed words are what the worship leaders say. The bold words are what everyone speaks together. You can join in with as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing. Feel free to sit anywhere you would like in the main group of seats. We stand and sit at different times, but we’ll tell you when that happens. Some people will kneel too, but it’s a mix and you can do what feels right to you.
Each worship service has two main parts. We gather together with song and prayer and then the first part involves readings from the Bible and a sermon. The second part is called the Eucharist, which is also called Holy Communion. In between the two parts we pass God’s Peace to each other. It’s a simple greeting like a hand shake and often people will say “peace” as they shake hands.
When it comes time for the Eucharist or Holy Communion, the clergy will say prayers over the bread and wine and we believe that in some mysterious way the Holy Spirit does something none of us can really wrap our minds around and Christ becomes fully present in those elements of bread and wine. Eating that bread and drinking that wine makes God a part of each of us in some mysterious way. It changes us.
The exact way way we physically walk up and receive the bread and wine changes from week to week but there will be instructions. If you choose to come, you can hold your hands open to receive the bread. You can either, eat the bread and then drink a sip from the cup that comes next OR you can hold the bread and dip it into the second cup that is available.
If you have any questions, please call us or send us an email ahead of time and we’ll answer any questions you might have.