Whatever your faith tradition, there are elements of worship at St. Andrew’s that will probably feel very familiar ... and other aspects that might seem a bit different.
If you've never attended a Lutheran service before, don't worry about it - the entire service is printed in a program you'll receive right before worship. And we'll gladly answer any questions you have about any part of the service.
Here's a good starting point to talk about our worship style: St. Andrew's is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the ELCA is a liturgical church.
That simply means we follow a structured order of worship rooted in traditions handed down from the church of the apostles and some of the earliest Christian communities. (The Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican/Episcopal worship traditions are also among the most liturgy-based today.)
As a liturgical church, we follow a lectionary, which matches Scriptural readings and other worship elements with the moods, events and religious observances specific to each season.
Many Christian denominations and congregations have adopted a less structured style of worship; others have actually moved in a more liturgical direction during the last 50 years. It's really not an issue of which approach is right (or even better).
This is about finding a good match for you -- a faith community & worship service that fully engages your heart, mind and soul – and that guides you toward a closer walk with Jesus, so that you can help continue His mission here on earth.
What to Expect
If you're accustomed to a more free-form worship style, you might find a surprising amount of richness, beauty and spirit-lifting rhythm in our more structured service. Here are 6 things you can expect during Sunday worship:
1. The service will last about an hour. Every Sunday our service starts at 9:30 am. St. Andrew’s worship services are well-paced, engaging and respectful of your busy schedule. But you might want to reserve 15-30 minutes for refreshments and conversation. We love to socialize after church ... and this is a great time to learn more about St. Andrew’s from both our long-time members and folks who've joined more recently.
2. There are typically six major pieces of music:
3. We read three works of Scripture at each service: using the Revised Common Lectionary, which contains the assigned readings for the day, the first, from the Old Testament; the second, usually from a New Testament letter (such as Romans or 1 Corinthians); and the third, a reading by Pastor Anderson from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. (We also read responsively -- and sometimes sing – the Psalm assigned for the day.)
4. Our Pastor delivers a memorable & moving sermon. Our spiritual leaders share their rich understanding of Biblical history and scripture ... challenging us to examine our thoughts, deeds and motives ...inspiring us to be more faith-centered, forgiving and selfless ... and giving us all plenty to think about during the coming week.
5. St. Andrew’s members are passionate and enthusiastic about offering each other a sign of peace. In some churches, this just means shaking hands with folks sitting immediately to your front, back and sides. But not at St. Andrew’s. We get out of our pews, roam the sanctuary and joyfully offer peace to as many fellow worshippers as we can - usually for 2-3 minutes, right before the Offering of Gifts and Holy Communion. It's a weekly reminder of what a loving, close-knit family of believers we have become.
6. We celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday to connect with Jesus and Christians in all times & places. Through gifts of bread and wine, we are fed with the Body and Blood of Christ — and we remember His extraordinary sacrifice, which provides us all with the path to everlasting life.