What's Worship Like?

What's Worship Like?
The Service
Grace sees value in using traditional orders of liturgical worship. “Liturgical” means “the work of the people”.  Worship is designed to be interactive with our God and with each other. Each element in the orders of worship serves an important purpose and has special meaning. Using these orders ensures that you will hear the Law and the Gospel each Sunday and they connect you to Christians of the past as well as the present. The order of service is printed in the bulletin and is also available in our hymnal, Christian Worship. All of our services include…
 
Opening Hymn. The opening hymn has a message that sets the tone for worship. Traditional hymns accompanied by the organ are typically used, but occasionally additional instruments like the trumpet, violin, piano or guitar are used too.  Church members are encouraged to use their musical talents in worship! 

Invocation. We begin “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” to remind ourselves we are in the presence of our triune God.

Confession & Forgiveness.  The Psalmist once asked, "Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?" (Psalm 24:3)   His answer?  "He who has clean hands and a pure heart" (Psalm 24:4)   As we begin our worship in God's house, we recognize that we are all sinful.  Every last one of us.  There are no exceptions.  (Psalm 53:3)  So we confess our sins and ask for God's forgiveness.  The Pastor, speaking by the authority of our Savior, assures us of the forgiveness of sins that Jesus Christ has earned!  This forgiveness of sins explains why we come to worship.  We long to hear the Good News of the Lord's forgiveness again and again.  That's also why our worship is Christ-centered.

Bible Readings. Our worship is also Bible-based. Usually we have four Bible readings each Sunday: an Old Testament reading, a Psalm (which is either sung or spoken), an Epistle reading, and a Gospel reading. These Bible readings underscore the theme for the Sunday Worship. The readings are prescribed in the Church Lectionary, which ensures that we meditate on all of Scripture.

Hymn of the Day. This hymn has a message to introduce the sermon which follows.

The Sermon. Our pastor uses a portion of the Bible (quite often one of the Bible readings for the day) as the basis for a Christ-centered, Law/Gospel message.  The purpose of a sermon is to show us our sin and then show us our Savior.  The message is geared to reach out to those who don't know Jesus, and at the same time strengthen those who are already believers.  It's usually about 20 minutes in length.  Listen to a sermon now

Confession of Faith.  After we've heard God's Word, we are ready to respond with praise.  We do that with a Confession (statement or outline) of the Christian faith.  Usually, we use one of the ancient creeds of the Christian Church:  Apostles, Nicene, or Athanasian Creed. 

Offering. We also respond to God's grace through our monetary offerings. The plates are passed for our congregational members to have an opportunity to give a thank-offering to the Lord who has given us life through His Son. These offerings are used to run our local congregation, and a portion of those offerings are sent to our Wisconsin Synod for mission outreach.  Visitors should not feel obligated to give any money.

Closing Prayers and Benediction:  With our worship coming to a close, we pray for the Lord's guidance and strength as we leave his house to go back to our every day life.  Then we receive the Lord's Benediction, his blessing.  God reminds us we are his children, and he will indeed watch over us.

The Closing Hymn. The closing hymn will re-emphasize the theme for the day as worship comes to a close. 

Announcements. Pastor will share highlights of the week to come, and he'll invite everyone to stay for snacks and beverages before Bible study & Sunday School begins. Our visitors are cordially welcome to stay for fellowship.  It's a great way to get to know us better and begin friendships that can last an eternity.