What to Expect in Worship

All are welcome to worship with us at Bethany Lutheran! Whether you are new to the Christian faith, new to West Branch, or simply searching for a church home we invite you to join us. We worship Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. That is immediately followed by a time of fellowship and education for adults (September–May). Children and youth education is on Wednesday evenings (September-May).

Upon arriving for worship, the Minister of Hospitality (Greeter) will hand you a worship bulletin. The bulletin contains the order of worship and announcements. When you are seated you may look over this bulletin, greet others around you, and prepare for worship.

Worship may begin with a joyful hymn, by remembering our baptisms, or with a time of standing together and remembering our brokenness and need for God’s forgiveness. After a prayer, lessons from the Bible are read.  The sermon follows based on one of the selected Bible readings.  Another hymn is sung and the service continues with a confession of faith, prayers, the offering, and a time of sharing words of God’s peace with one another.  When Holy Communion is celebrated, there are readings and songs that highlight the special meaning of this sacrament. When you receive Holy Communion the minister will place bread or a wafer in your hand and then a lay minister will provide you with an individual small cup of wine or grape juice. One of the youth will be nearby to take the cup from you. Children or adults who do not receive Holy Communion may come forward to receive a blessing. Holy Communion is offered to all who believe Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior. The service ends with a prayer, blessing and closing hymn.

Hymn singing is very important to Lutherans. We use a hymnal called, Evangelical Lutheran Worship, or ELW for short. This book contains a variety of hymns and songs from many times, cultures and traditions. The hymns we sing are chosen carefully to enrich the meaning of worship and the celebration of the season. The hymns are not usually printed in the bulletin, but the numbers are. You’ll also note that the hymn numbers are posted on a board in the front of the church.

Lutherans believe in participating in worship. On a typical Sunday, you will find many people in the congregation reading lessons, singing, greeting, lighting candles, and serving. The Ministers of Hospitality are there to answer any questions you have, but you are also encouraged to ask the person next to you for help if you need it.

It is our prayer that worshiping with us will be a meaningful experience for you that strengthens you in your daily life!

Worship is the primary activity in the life of a faith community. God is the primary actor in worship as God calls and gathers us, feeds and strengthens us, and then sends us forth to glorify God in service to our neighbor. If you still have questions select the link below to learn more about Lutheran worship or ask Pastor Chad.

Worship:  A Foundation of Faith for Everything We Do