Q: What does it look like to come into God's presence in this place?
A: Some have described it as peaceful, energizing, rejuvenating, loving, and healing. Everything we do at Faith revolves around the worship of God, the one who creates, sustains and nurtures us. We sing, we pray, we hear scripture read and a sermon that relates God's word and work in the world to our lives.
Sunday Traditional worship is, well, traditional. We have the organ and choirs leading worship. BUT Traditional does not mean boring! We use ritual and activity to creatively express our joy of God's love for us. We celebrate and we are restored! The words and liturgy will feel familiar.
On Saturdays, we have an Alternative service, meaning it is more casual in song and language.
Q: Are children welcome here?
A: Children are not the future of the church - they are the very present church! Children will giggle and wiggle and... be children. We get that; that's how God created them. Their job is to laugh, question, play and give us a reminder not to take ourselves so seriously. Children are not only welcome, but encouraged to be active participants in worship. Families are encouraged to take advantage of our Prayground. We hope they stay in the worship space for the entire time. However, we do have a "family room" available if you desire more privacy (nursing, changing diaper, soothing the unconsolable).
Q: Who is welcome to receive the sacrament of communion?
A: We practice open communion. If you receive the sacrament in your own fellowship you are certainly welcome to receive in ours. We believe that this is the Lord's Supper - not our pastor's, not Faith Lutheran's, not the Lutheran tradition's, but the Lord's. All are welcome at the Lord's invitation.
Q: Another question about the sacrament of communion... how do I take it here?
A: Each church does this a little differently. We even change it occasionally. We celebrate it every week. On the first Sunday of the month, we participate in "rail communion". That's where the people come forward and gather around the altar area. Small groups receive the bread and the wine together at the same time.
Other weeks, we form a continuous line down the main aisle and receive the bread first from Pastor, then the cup from a communion assistant. We recess back to our seats via the side aisles.
Our bread is homemade by a devoted disciple of Faith Lutheran church. Our wine is served in individual cups or a common chalice (behind Pastor). We offer gluten-free bread and grape juice options - just tell the server. No matter how you receive the sacrament, know that Christ is truly in that meal.
And lastly, mobility should never keep you from the meal. Just tell our ushers that you would like someone to come to your seat.
Q: (Um, I'm afraid to ask, but what's a sacrament?)
A: God's gift of grace and forgiveness to and for us. Simply. No strings attached. We may encounter God's presence in many things - daily miracles and blessings, like seeing the smile of a child or someone holding the door for another person - but we can consistently count on God coming to us in our celebration of Baptism and Holy Communion (the two sacraments). Sacraments are holy expressions of God, where we can regularly and reliably know that God is present. They are holy encounters. In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are washed with water, brought to the faith and are made one in the family of God and other believers. In the Sacrament of Holy Communion (aka Eucharist or Lord's Supper), we are renewed, fed, and forgiven.
Q: What about Scripture? How do you understand the Word of God?
A: Jesus Christ is the Word incarnate, the Living Word, and the Word became Flesh. God has been revealed to our ancestors throughout the ages.
Q: Will I be asked to stand up or say anything?
A: Absolutely not. You will receive a smile and a warm welcome, but we refuse to embarrass anyone!
Q: Will I be OK in blue jeans or do I need to dress in my "Sunday best"?
A: Come as you are, just as Jesus said to his disciples. If a three-piece suit fits your personality, wear it! If you're more of a flip-flop person, wear those! We don't care how you dress - just be sure you put something, anything on. Togas are fine, too.
Q: Back to this baptism thing. I noticed that your pastor sprayed everyone with water at the beginning of worship. What's that all about?
A: Remember how sacraments are reliable, holy encounters with God? This action of sprinkling baptismal water helps us to remember that encounter. At the first Sunday worship each month, we remember how we are grafted into God's life, and tied to one another through our baptisms. While each of us had individual baptisms, that shared, sprinkled water reminds us that our baptism is shared among the many.
Q: What if I'm not Lutheran?
A: That's fine! Our worship is meant to connect you to God's way of life and love. We just happen to be Lutheran.
Q: What Lutheran "Synod" are you (ELCA, Missouri, NALC, Wisconsin, etc)?
A: We are an expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Our understanding of God's Good News of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means that we have been granted freedom from all that binds us and that the gift of abundant life is meant for all. Therefore, we are socially progressive, service- and mission-minded.
(PS We're still working on this section. More info to come!)