Living Faith Lutheran Church
Monday, December 18, 2017
God's Work. Our Hands.

 

Our Worship

We hope you'll join us at an upcoming service - every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Whatever your faith tradition, there are elements of worship at Living Faith Lutheran that will probably feel very familiar ... and other aspects that might seem a bit different. 
 
If you've never attended a Lutheran service before, don't worry about it - the entire service is printed in a program you'll receive right before worship.  And we'll gladly answer any questions you have about any part of the service.
 

Here's a good starting point to talk about our worship style: Living Faith is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the ELCA is a liturgical church. 

That simply means we follow a structured order of worship rooted in traditions handed down from the church of the apostles and some of the earliest Christian communities. (The Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican/Episcopal worship traditions are also among the most liturgy-based today.) 

As a liturgical church, we follow a lectionary, which matches Scriptural readings and other worship elements with the moods, events and religious observances specific to each season.

Many Christian denominations and congregations have adopted a less structured style of worship; others have actually moved in a more liturgical direction during the last 50 years.  It's really not an issue of which approach is right (or even better). 

This is about finding a good match for you --  a faith community & worship service that fully engages your heart, mind and soul - and that guides you toward a closer walk with Jesus, so that you can help continue His mission here on earth.

If you're accustomed to a more free-form worship style, you might find a surprising amount of richness, beauty and spirit-lifting rhythm in our more structured service.  Here ar7 things you can expect during Sunday worship:

1.  The service will last about an hour. 

Living Faith services are well-paced, engaging and respectful of your busy schedule.  But you might want to reserve 15-30 minutes for refreshments and conversation.  We love to socialize after church ... and this is a great time to learn more about Living Faith from both our long-time members and folks who've joined in the last few years.

2.  You'll hear 6 major pieces of music:

  • a prelude before the service and a postlude at the end, both instrumental classics by Bach & other great composers, played by organist Ruei-Hwa Shyu;

  • three hymns sung by the congregation & choir;

  • an anthem performed right before the Scriptural readings. This is often an intricate and particularly beautiful piece of worship music, sung only by the choir, with Music Director Deborah Richardson leading

Deborah works with our talented members to bring other elements into the music - guitar, clarinet, even a box full of percussion instruments that everyone is invited to pick up and play!
 
3.  We'll read four works of Scripture.
 

The first reading is usually from the Old Testament (or, in the weeks following Easter, from the Acts of the Apostles).

The responsorial psalm is a poetic excerpt from the Book of Psalms, usually read responsively, but sometimes sung.

The second reading - like the first, read by a Living Faith lay member - is from a New Testament letter (such as Romans or 1 Corinthians). It often presents timeless advice for spiritual growth or building a stronger community of faith.

The third reading - read by the presiding pastor is a passage from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or  John, featuring the words of Jesus and key events from His ministry.

4.  You'll hear a memorable sermon.

Pastor Sandra shares her rich understanding of Biblical history and scripture ... challenges us to examine our thoughts, deeds and motives ...inspires us to be more faith-centered, forgiving and selfless ... and gives us all plenty to think about during the coming week.  To hear and read some of Pastor Sandra's most recent sermons, click here

5.  You'll experience an unforgettable "passing of the peace."

In some churches, offering one another a sign of peace is a brief and predictable affair: you just shake hands with folks sitting immediately around you. 

But not at Living Faith Lutheran. We get out of our pews, roam the sanctuary and joyfully offer peace to as many fellow worshippers as we can - usually for 2-3 minutes, right before the Offering of Gifts and Holy Communion.  It's a weekly reminder of what a loving, close-knit family of believers we have become.

6.  You'll see a big basket of donated food brought to the altar during the Offering of Gifts.

Living Faith members donate between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds of non-perishable goods each year to Manna Food Center. If you'd like to bring a can or box to our next service, we'll gratefully accept it!

By incorporating these loving gifts into our service, we are reminded that Jesus Himself lived in poverty ... and that we are called to do all we can to help those who are hungry, thirsty, or otherwise suffering.

7. You'll be invited to the Lord's table.

We celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday to connect with Jesus and  Christians in all times & places. Through gifts of bread and wine, we are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ — and we remember His extraordinary sacrifice, which provided us all with the path to everlasting life.