Sunday Services at 8:00am and 10:45am
Divine Service (With Holy Communion) except 5th Sunday of the month (Matins)
Sunday School for all ages at 9:30am
TO GOD ALONE
The focus of our worship is the God who loves us, who sent His beloved Son to live and die in our place, who forgives our sins, and who richly provides us each day with all that we need to support body and soul. We are present to hear Him speak through the Holy Scriptures and to sing the praises of the One who calls us to be His own children in Jesus. It is not our purpose to entertain, for we are here to worship our Lord, and our emphasis is on Him, rather than on ourselves.
WE JOIN THE SAINTS OF THE EARLY CHURCH
Our worship is orderly and reverent, which is consistent with the pattern we see in both Old and New Testament worship. The order we use is called a liturgy, and it is of ancient origin. Some of this liturgy has been used in the Christian Church since the days of the apostles. The words spoken, the chants sung and the responses made are taken almost verbatim from the Bible. What better way to worship our God, than using His own words, which are far above anything man could invent.
The liturgy is like a drama; it has a theme and a direction. The congregation is not an audience, but a participant in this sacred drama. We enter into God’s presence with an acknowledgment of our sin, receive His announcement of forgiveness through Christ, hear His Word through the Scripture readings and sermon, praise Him with our offerings and prayers, and finally receive His presence most intimately in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. We depart with the blessing God Himself gave through Moses to be pronounced upon His people. From the Invocation to the Benediction, we stand consciously in the wonderful and awesome presence of the living God.
A NOTE ON OUR CHURCH MUSIC
Lutherans have always been very careful with the music we use in worship. We are aware that some of it “takes some getting used to,” but there is a reason for that. The music is always to be subservient to the Word - we don’t want it to distract from the message by calling attention to itself. Our music, therefore, does not fare well by popular standards of entertainment, but it wasn’t designed by those standards. It was designed to exalt our Lord, not stir up subjective emotions which center on the worshipper. (Although it often does bring up a pure, joyful response in God’s people.) Zeal and enthusiasm for popular music usually subsides with time, but appreciation for good music tends to grow. This is what we look for in church music.
CHILDREN AND WORSHIP
We love children at Messiah and we love to see them in the worship service. We recognize, however, the challenge that can be for parents. Don’t worry about the occasional cry, whine, or bump! Most of us here either have small children or have had them and remember it well.
If you have a baby who refuses to be comforted or a wiggly toddler who is absolutely determined to have a loud conversation, you are invited to use our church "cry room" if you wish to. It is located just behind the sanctuary. As you leave the santuary, take a right down the hall. The room has comfortable chairs, windows into the santuary, and sound. You can be with your little ones and still hear the sermon and perhaps sing a hymn or two.
Older children, from Kindergarten up, are encouraged to take part in the worship service. The liturgy of the church is theologically deep enough for adults and yet simple enough for even the smallest child to learn. It is amazing how much little ones can pick up, even when you are convinced they are not paying attention! Learning to stand when others are standing, bowing the head and folding hands in prayer, etc. are important disciplines. Let them sing when the congregation is singing, even if they are just singing the refrain from “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of their lungs. Encourage them to say the Lord’s Prayer with the congregation, even if they have trouble keeping up. They may not understand everything being said, but this message will come across loud and clear: God is important enough to pay attention to. Your gentle direction reinforces this and shows them the importance you place on worship. Lifelong habits of reverence begin right here in the pew!
Special children’s bulletins are printed each week for use during the sermon which include activities based on the lessons of the day. The ushers have them with the regular bulletins.