At St. John United Lutheran, Sunday worship is a participatory, intergenerational experience in the midst of which we encounter the living God and one another. Gathered around Word and Meal, we sing, pray, listen, and speak.
Our pattern of worship is rooted in the ancient practices of the church but also shaped by our present lives. We use a variety of symbols, images and metaphors to help communicate the mystery of God that we have come to know through Jesus.
Worship renews our hope. It strengthens and shapes us so we can be the body of Christ in the world, serving God and neighbor in our daily lives. Worship propels us inward and then outward. It flows from Sunday morning into Monday morning and our congregation’s mission of caring for those in need and advocating for the common good.
Who is welcome?
Everyone! We place a high value on inclusivity and especially welcome those who may have felt excluded by the church in the past, including members of the LGBT community. Our facility is handicapped-accessible, with space in the sanctuary for wheel chairs and walkers. We are kid-friendly and also welcome well-mannered dogs.
What is your service like?
We sing, listen to scripture and a sermon, pray, and share holy communion every Sunday. We worship in liturgical style with the participation of the congregation in singing and spoken responses. We observe the seasons of the church year, from Advent through All Saints. We have the entire service printed in the bulletin (which we recycle for 4-8 weeks depending on the season), except for the readings that are printed on an insert and the hymns which are in a hymnbook.
What kind style of music is most common?
We sing a wide range of hymns – traditional, contemporary, European, American, and songs from the global church. We use hymns primarily from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW), sometimes referred to as the “cranberry hymnal”. For our liturgical music we use a variety of settings, including some from the ELW and even some settings written in-house.
What about children?
We are happy to have children in worship and encourage you to help your children participate. We have a “Children’s Message” time when all children are invited to come up to the front pew. We also recognize it’s hard for kids to sit quietly for an hour or more! So, you can find kid bags in a basket at the rear of the sanctuary with coloring and activity books for children to use during the service. There is also a nursery corner in the Lounge behind the sanctuary, where parents can bring children to play and still hear the service.
Who is welcome at communion?
At St. John United we understand that it is Christ who invites us to the table. Anyone who desires to participate is welcome. Those who choose not to receive the bread and wine are encouraged to still come forward to receive a blessing.
What about baptism?
In the Lutheran tradition, we welcome all people to the rite of baptism – infants, children, and adults. While baptism is a once in a lifetime event, it is also a well-spring of grace, forgiveness and renewal that we can draw upon every day. If you or your children have not been baptized, the pastor would be delighted to speak with you about the process of preparation.