When you arrive for worship, the usher will hand you a worship bulletin. The bulletin contains some introductory explanations, the order of service, and announcements. When you are seated, you may look over this bulletin, greet others around you, and prepare for worship.
Worship may begin with a joyful hymn, by remembering our baptisms, or with a time of standing together and remembering our humanity. After a prayer, one or more lessons from the Bible are read. The sermon follows, with the sermon topic based on the readings for the day, with special emphasis on what they mean for our lives. Another hymn is sung and the service continues with prayers and the offering. When Holy Communion is celebrated, there are readings and songs that highlight the special meaning of this sacrament. When you receive Holy Communion, the minister will place bread in your hand. You may choose to eat the bread and then sip from the cup of wine (known as the common cup) or choose an individual small cup. You may also dip your bread in the wine of the common cup. If you chose the small cup, simply leave it in the tray that is nearby. Holy Communion is offered to all baptized Christians whose practice it is to receive the sacrament. The service ends with a blessing and a closing hymn.
Hymn singing is very important to Lutherans. We use a new book for worship, it is known as Evangelical Lutheran Worship, or ELW for short. This book contains a variety of hymns and songs from many times, cultures, and traditions. The hymns we sing are chosen carefully to enrich the meaning of worship and the celebration of the season. The hymns are not usually printed in the bulletin, but their numbers are. You will also note that the hymn numbers are posted on a board in the front of the church. Large print bulletins are also available and will contain the printed hymns for those needing the large print.
Lutherans believe in participating in worship. On a typical Sunday, you will find many people in the congregation reading lessons, singing, greeting, serving, and helping. The ushers are there to answer any questions you have, but you are also encouraged to ask the person next you for help if you need it.
It is our prayer that worshiping with us will be a meaningful experience for you!
Our Sunday School programming utilizes the Sparks series through Augsburg Fortress and is geared toward children who are preschool age through fourth grades. We meet in the downstairs Sunday School rooms from approximately 9:45 to 10:30 AM throughout the school year (September through May). Parents and congregation members serve as the lesson leaders for our group of youngsters and we are always happy to have volunteers throughout the school year.
Our Sunday School group is large enough this year, and enough different in reading and writing abilities, that we split the group into two groups: kindergarten and younger and 1st through 4th grades.
Our Sunday School children also entertained us once again in December of 2016 when they performed a Christmas program, “CHRISTMAS Store Window.” From three-years-old up to nine, our children did a fabulous job in their second year of reviving this tradition.
Vacation Bible School:
Another opportunity for the youngsters in our congregation and community to learn about God is through the community wide Vacation Bible School. For the last several years, VBS has been held the week leading up to the Lost Nation Rustic Days festivities, typically about the second full week of July. The four congregations in the community join together and rotate hosting and organizing the VBS week. For 2016, the Union Presbyterian Church hosted, with the theme of “Water All Around the World.”
Vacation Bible School singers at Ecumenical Service – July 2016
Vacation Bible School – 2016
Confirmation classes for students in grades 6th through 8th are held throughout the school year and are coordinated with the Pastor, students, and their parents. Confirmation has typically taken place on Reformation Sunday in October.
Christian education, an ongoing relationship with God’s Word, is a representation of our daily call to discipleship. We believe that it is important to study God’s Word and to discover how the Bible relates to daily life. By staying immersed in the Word, we believe we stay immersed in conversation with God. Conversation with God should take the form of daily prayer and meditation. Praying for the Holy Spirit to inspire us, praying for others whom we know or those in need in our world are good ways to begin. As a part of discipleship, we believe it is important to consider how we are supporting the mission and ministry of your church.