We have compiled a list of questions we frequently receive. Don't see your question on the list? Send us an email at email@example.com with your question.
What’s a Lutheran?
A Lutheran says we are justified by God’s grace.
Liturgy is a Greek word meaning the “work of the people” or “worship of the people.”
The word has also come to mean whatever style or form the people use to accomplish this worship. Every worship service has some sort of form to it—what we do first, what we do second, you know–hymns, prayers, bible, preaching. This format is often called “the liturgy.”
At First Lutheran we most often use a very old form of worship. It is essentially the same form Christians have been using for centuries. Parts of our service were used by the very first Christians, parts even back into the Old Testament. Almost every part of our worship service is from the Bible.
We hope our worship invokes awe and reverence. To do this we use a style of worship that is more formal. There will be repetition to emphasize important themes. We will do many things the same Sunday after Sunday.
Yet this “old time religion” can be very meaningful. The point of worship is to adjust our attention from only things about us–and to focus on the life of Almighty God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is to unplug from “me” and to connect with “we” while focusing on “thee.” We use this more formal and traditional liturgy because we believe it will make our time of worship more meaningful.
Why is worship so important?
Worship is central to everything we do, and is one of the defining activities of Christian life. We realize that God does not need our worship, we do. So we gather on Sundays and other holidays in the tradition of the early church to:
Celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with the Eucharist (communion)
Give thanks to God for our salvation
Experience the fellowship and support of other Christians--For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Matthew 18:20
An Introduction to Baptism and Holy Communion
People who visit our church will have questions about our beliefs and practices. Two things they will notice about our worship are the sacraments, Baptism and Communion.
We do them because Jesus told his disciples to baptize and to share the Lord’s Supper.
A sacrament uses words but also uses something physical—water for baptism, bread and wine for communion. The sacraments speak but not only with words. Maybe a sacrament uses the same language as a hug.
A sacrament is what God offers to us.
In the sacraments we believe God offers us grace.
Grace is one of the most important words in the Lutheran Church. It is perhaps our defining word. It is God’s undeserved love and mercy for us.
Grace is not a reward, you can’t earn it.
We call the sacraments the means of grace.
We believe God is acting in Baptism and Communion to forgive and love.
He is acting in Baptism naming and claiming.
He is present in the bread and wine to forgive sins.
Jesus still forgives sins.
This is why these sacraments are so important to us. In faith we receive his grace. See “What is a Lutheran?”
Who is invited to participate?
Everybody is invited.
Everybody that God is calling to come.
And that is everybody.
If I wanted to be Baptized, what do I do?
Call the church and ask to talk to the pastor. 218-283-2208
The pastor will talk with you about what we understand Baptism to mean. Baptism is never just a private event–it is a public event. Normally baptisms happen at worship on Sunday morning. Sometimes we may have a special service when several people are baptized. As recorded in the book of Acts and as practiced throughout church history, we baptize households—that means children, even infants and adults. This is because the one who is acting in Baptism is not us but God.
God’s grace is not dependent on our age or our understanding.
If I come to worship can I receive Holy Communion?
Yes. Everybody is welcome. We walk to the front of the church to receive the bread and the wine. Sometimes we kneel at the altar and receive the wine in a small cup. Sometimes we come to the front, receive a small wafer of bread, and then we dip the wafer in a larger cup of wine.
We can feel self-conscious the first time we do something in a new place–but remember–this is a means of grace and oneness—it is not a means to try and make anyone feel embarrassed or apart. It is to be fed by God.
If you attended First Lutheran some Sunday, what’s the worst thing that could happen?
Attending an unfamiliar church can produce a little anxiety. These thoughts are meant to reduce the anxiety—we’d really like you to come.
We won’t make you stand up and introduce yourself. We want you to feel cared for.
We encourage parents of children to attend worship with their children. Jesus said bring the children to me. Sometimes a child may begin to fuss or cry. If it’s necessary to take a time out, the worship service is televised in the adjoining hall. There is also room for your child to move around. There is also a nursery downstairs.
There will be a time in the worship service for children to come forward for a message from one of the Bible readings just for them. I suppose your child could say something ridiculous that would make you embarrassed. It is much more likely they will say something wonderful that will make you very proud.
In an unfamiliar setting many worry that they’ll say or do something wrong. We have one written rule that overrides all the unwritten ones. It is “All are welcome.” We are just ordinary people who make our own mistakes and know how it feels. We are not here because we are perfect—we are here because we are not. We will go out of our way to make you feel comfortable.
We invite you to become a part of our church community–but we aren’t going to meet you at the door with pen and paper and get you to sign up. You can participate at the level you desire for as long as you desire. To truly become a part you need to know what you are becoming a part of, and that takes some watching and some time.
What does it mean to become a member?
Becoming a member means that you have made the decision to increase your support and commitment to First Lutheran, joining with other members in carrying out our mission and vision. Also, as a member you become eligible to vote at congregational meetings and to hold church office.
If, for any reason, you enjoy our fellowship but don’t feel ready for membership, remember that you are always welcome to worship and commune with us as often and as long as you wish. You may also participate in many congregational activities, e.g. missions, projects, or singing in the choir, without formally joining the church.