Our Saviour’s, like all ELCA congregations, uses a liturgical form of worship. Our liturgy (or the order of our service) is deeply rooted in Scripture and grounded in the historic Christian church. When we worship this way, we are connected to God, to each other, and to Christians of every time and place.
First, we gather, as the Holy Spirit calls us together as the people of God.
Then, we encounter God’s Word, as God speaks to us in scripture readings, preaching, prayer and song.
Then, we share a meal at the Lord’s table, as God feeds and nourishes us with the presence and saving power of Jesus Christ.
Then, finally, God blesses us and sends us forth into the world to share the good news and to care for those in need.
Our liturgical worship is not so much about what we do, but what God is doing in us and how we respond. It is an encounter with the living God, who is truly present in the Word and sacraments, and saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Lutherans celebrate the two sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion – instituted by Christ. Together with the Word proclaimed, we believe they are the means of grace through which Christ is present and God’s promise of forgiveness, life and salvation is conveyed to us.
Baptism is the entry rite into Christian faith. Through water and the Word – God’s saving promise in Christ Jesus – God delivers us from the forces of evil, puts our sinful self to death, gives us new birth, adopts us as children, and makes us members of the body of Christ, the church. We are baptized once, but we continue to receive this healing, saving gift our entire lives.
In Holy Communion, also called the Eucharist, we remember the saving acts of God through Word, bread and wine, as Christ commanded at the Last Supper. We believe the crucified and risen Lord is really present, giving us his true body and blood as food and drink for the forgiveness of sin, for the strengthening of faith, and as a foretaste of the heavenly feast to come.
How these things happen is a mystery. But rather than trying to know the unknowable, we trust that, in the words we hear and in the physical elements we experience, God is with us and loves us forever
Most people think of the Word of God as the Bible, and it surely is. But it is more than that.
First and foremost, it is God's incarnate Word made flesh in Jesus, living among us.
Second, it is the Word of God proclaimed and heard, both as law (that which convicts us of our sin) and as gospel (that which frees us from our sin).
And third, it is the written Word of God as recorded in the canonical scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
Through each of these forms, God gives us faith, forgiveness of sins, and new life in Christ.
Whenever the Word is proclaimed – in public reading of scripture, preaching, teaching, the celebration of the sacraments, confession and absolution, music, the arts, prayers, Christian witness and service – God is present and acting in us through the Holy Spirit.
Lutherans believe the Bible is the Word of God and through it, God’s Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain our Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
We invite you to read this Sunday’s First and Second Lessons and Gospel below, and experience how the Holy Spirit is working in you.
Prayer can take on many forms. It can be a quiet moment of reflection. A recited text of thanksgiving, petition or praise. A simple talk with Jesus – alone or with others.
However you choose to pray, your heartfelt conversations with God can bring great peace and joy to your life, fill you with hope and healing, and deepen your faith.
If you have a specific prayer concern, please feel free to share it in confidence with our pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor will pray for you – or with you – in private, or if you wish, add your prayer to those we offer to God in our Sunday worship.
Please let Pastor know if you wish to be included on our prayer list. The first names of all for whom we are praying are published in our Sunday bulletin.
To help you pray each day for the world and for the ministries of the church, we invite you to download the monthly edition of Prayer Ventures here.