We would love to have you worship with us! We understand that you might want to know a little about what to expect when you visit. Hopefully, this will help you.
Lightning Will Not Strike You As You Enter
You might be afraid that you are not welcome in church because you have not attended for quite some time, or because you have done some pretty bad stuff. Well, if lightning struck every sinner that entered God’s house of worship, not a person would be able to enter, including the pastor. Rather, Jesus says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). God is pleased to have you in His house, and we will be happy to have you with us, too!
What Is The Worship Like?
We use the historic Christian liturgy which has roots even from the Old Testament worship. The worship might seem to be a bit strange to you, and it should be. It is strange because it is the church and not the world, which is what is normal for us. Church is a sacred place, the meeting place of God and man. It is a holy place with holy things and people made holy by the working of the holy God. It might take you a little bit to get used to our historic, liturgical worship, but once you realize what it is about you will grow to love it! Here is a brochure that explains it a bit further: What the heck just happened?
Feel free to follow along in the hymnbook as best as you can. If you need help, a member sitting nearby would be happy to assist you.
You Will Not Be Made the Center of Attention
Some people like attention, others don’t. Just in case you don’t, we will not have you stand in front of everyone. But, if you would like, you are welcome to stick around after church for a bit to become acquainted with the dear people of Hope.
Do I Have to Worry About Sitting in Someone’s Seat?
Am I Expected to Give Offering?
While you are welcome to give money to the Lord during the offering, you are in no way obliged. You are a guest, and we do not expect you to give. We are simply grateful for your presence at our worship service to hear Christ’s life-giving gospel.
How Should I Dress?
People typically dress up for special occasions. Though we gather for church every week, it is a special occasion every time. This is because when we gather around God’s Word and Sacraments, we are in the presence of the holy and almighty God. By dressing up for church, we express our respect and reverence and also our thanks to our gracious God and Savior.
While, most members dress up, whether its khakis and a polo or a shirt and tie, some do not. Some come in jeans and t-shirt. Both are equally welcome. The important things are, first, we enter God’s house to hear His Word, and second, to come with a heart longing for forgiveness of our sins and trusting in the Savior, the physician of our souls.
Would I Be Able To Commune?
We ask that you speak with the pastor if you wish to commune.
We practice closed communion. This is the biblical and the ancient practice of the Church. Before you commune here, there are a few things we must to understand first. A pastor is a steward (or manager) of the mysteries of God, which includes the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 4:1). God instructs how the Lord’s Supper is to be distributed and received, and it is a very serious matter. (See 1 Corinthians 10-11) It is possible to commune to the harm of your own soul, and out of love for you, we don’t want that to happen. We want to make sure that you can take the Lord’s Supper in a beneficial manner. Also, communion isn’t just between you and God, but it is also between you and the others that kneel at the altar. It is an expression of unity with one another, a unity that exists when we have the same confession of faith. Shouldn’t we establish this unity first? And besides, don’t you want to know what we believe, teach and confess before you commune at the altar at Hope? So, during communion, feel free to sing the hymn, or pray quietly about what you have heard, or pray for those who are communing. Then, after the service, talk to the pastor, and we can work towards communing together! We look forward to it!