Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church - New Ringgold, PA
Resources for Visitors
I'm a first time visitor -- what can I expect when I first arrive at the church?
When you arrive at the front door, the stairs at either side lead upstairs to the sanctuary, where worship begins at 9:00am. There will be someone to greet you as you enter through the front doors to answer any questions you might have. At the top of the stairs, another person will greet you and hand you a bulletin with the date on it that contains everything we will do during our worship time together.
So, just what do you do in worship?
On most Sundays, our worship lasts an hour long. The service will start with announcements to cover anything special happening in worship that day and to cover upcoming events in the life of the church.
As Lutherans, we sing a lot. On most Sundays, we sing three songs out of the green or blue songbooks (hymnals) as well as song music that we sing as part of the worship service every week. There is time to pray for the world, our community, our congregation, ourselves, and all who are in need. We share together in Holy Communion. There are readings from Scripture and usually a 6-10 minute reflection from the pastor (sermon) based on one or more of those readings. All of the service elements (except the three songs in the hymnal) are in the bulletin itself to make it very user friendly. Both members and visitors alike use the same bulletins. If you're still curious, a copy of one of our bulletins may be found by clicking here.
Services are "traditional" in the sense that they follow a similar format for worship as has been used for centuries. We confess our sins before God trusting in God's forgiveness, we hear the Word of God, we receive Holy Communion, and we are sent into the world in peace.
What am I supposed to wear?
Be comfortable. If wearing a suit and tie is your thing, do it. If wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts is your thing, do it. You'll find people wearing everything in between that spectrum. We are thrilled to have you join in worship with us and are more worried about the worship than about what someone is wearing.
What about children?
While there is a nursery class in Sunday School, there is no nursery during worship time. Kids are God's children just as adults are, and we want them to be a part of worship, too. We have kids who sit and squirmy kids. We have quiet kids and kids who like to chat. Kids, like the rest of us, learn about God in worship and by being a part of that important time with their parents, grandparents, and their church family. Should you need to step out with your little one for a few moments, you're more than welcome to do so if you feel you need to, but please do come back in. For parents of very little ones, there is a baby changing station in the restrooms downstairs by the front doors where you enter.
What about Communion?
As Lutherans, we hold to receiving the Lord's Supper as Jesus commanded in the Gospels: "Do this for the remembrance of me." In this meal, we receive God's forgiveness in a very tangible way -- in bread and in wine, which are the body and blood of Christ given and shed for us. The only requirement to receive Holy Communion is to be baptized (the entry rite into the church by use of water). Whether you're Lutheran or not, all baptized persons are welcome at the Lord's Table. Not yet baptized but want to know more? The pastor is open for conversation.
What do Lutherans believe? What makes you different from other churches?
Simply put, Lutherans believe that we are saved from sin (rebellion against God by doing what we want instead of what God wants) on the basis of God's grace alone given through faith alone based on Scripture alone. We are a church that strongly believes in God's love and forgiveness in spite of our shortcomings.
What is church membership and how do I join?
Visitors who would like to join the membership are welcome to do so through the pastor. There are no classes or such to attend, but the pastor will take some time to introduce you to some of the members of the church and explore with you your own gifts for ministry. Persons who officially join the congregation then become eligible to vote at church meetings and receive pastoral care from the pastor of this congregation.
A question I have isn't listed here.
If you still have questions about our worship life or aspects of church membership, please feel free to contact the pastor.