ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT WORSHIP AT ASCENSION LUTHERAN CHURCH

 
It is usually uncomfortable to think of going to a church for the first time. Walking into an unknown situation can be quite intimidating.

We hope we can answer some of your questions about our church before you visit.  We’d like your visit with us to be relaxed and enriching.  Our sincere wish is that when you visit Ascension you will feel welcomed and comfortable and, most importantly, that you hear about your Savior, Jesus, and come to know the grace and love of God more and more.

Service Times

For current service times, please visit our calendar for the most up-to-date service times.

Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, our Sunday morning schedule includes an early worship service, 30 minutes of fellowship time, an education hour and a late worship service.  

At our education hour there is something for everyone.  SUNDAY SCHOOL is open to all children from three years of age through fifth grade.  We have catechism instruction for 6th-8th graders and Teen Bible Study for high school students.

ADULT BIBLE DISCUSSIONS meets in the sanctuary. People are welcome to drink a cup of coffee during the discussion. Whether you are a new Christian or have been studying the Bible for a long time, our Bible study has something for everyone. If you have a child who is under 3 years of age, you are welcome to bring him/her with you.

Sunday Worship

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.” - Psalm 122:1

The high point of each week for the people of Ascension is when we gather together to worship our Lord Jesus.  The liturgy, or worship structure, is a blended style, following a traditional format yet including many contemporary songs. Our worship is accompanied by a variety of musical instruments.  Blended worship combines the richness of traditional worship and Lutheran hymns with more contemporary music with meaningful lyrics.

A typical service includes hymns and songs, readings from the Bible, a children’s message, a sermon, songs of praise, prayers, an offering, and on the first and third Sundays, the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  Each week the service is printed in the worship folder.  Everything you will need for worship is printed there for you.  Visitors find our services inspirational, meaningful to their daily lives, and easy to follow.  We think you will too. 

Seating

As our guest, you may sit wherever you feel most comfortable.  To assist families with young children we have designated the back few rows for them.  This is so they can easily take their child out if they find the need.

Dress

Since the Bible presents no dress code, aside from simple decency and Christian humility, Ascension Lutheran Church doesn’t make any rules either.  Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time.  Some may choose to dress up a bit in reverence to the Lord.  Most come in casual dress.  On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and high heels, jeans and suits, or open collars and ties.  When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress – casual or more formal – is acceptable to God . . . and us.

Offerings

The Bible teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is His gift to us.  It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God.

Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church.  Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give. Scripture simply teaches that we should decide in advance what we will return to the Lord and, out of love for him, give gladly.  We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God.  (Offering envelopes are available and keep our gifts a private matter known only to God who sees what we do in private).

As a guest at Ascension, you are not expected to bring an offering. We are just happy that you have joined us. 

 

But what if...

Our minds tend to generate the most awful scenarios for us to think about. Here are some common worries:

“I would just die if they made me stand up and say something.”  We assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way.  We want you to feel comfortable and at home with us.  Church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience.  We promise to do all we can to make it that way.

“I know my child is going to be too noisy.”  Ascension is blessed to be made up of many families with small children, so young children are welcomed.  However if you would like a place to take your child if she/he becomes noisy, we have closed circuit televisions monitoring worship in the fellowship area and the nursery so you may take time out to quiet your child and still monitor the worship service.

“I know I will feel out of place.”  Each week we print special worship folders that detail the day's worship.  It is easy to follow the service using that worship folder.  We hope that this will ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask an usher or anyone around you for help.  Don’t hesitate to say, “I am new.  What is this about?”  Our members welcome the opportunity to help.

“I am afraid I will say or do something wrong.”  All of us have felt this way when in a new situation.  You will quickly see that the people of Ascension are ordinary people like yourself.  We want to accept you as you are and together, encourage one another to become what Christ wants us to be. 

 “I just want to watch at first and I know that they will try to involve me or sign me up.”  It is unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a “membership drive” as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it?  We believe that church membership should be a voluntary thing, and that the most important thing is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation.  It takes time for this to be cultivated.  People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement.  We believe we should respect that need.

“I’m not sure that I agree with your teachings.”  We are glad if you come to us with a discerning heart, wishing to be sure that our teachings are scripturally sound.  In Acts 17:11 the Bereans were praised for this: "...they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."   At any point you like, Pastor Janisch will gladly schedule time to go through our teachings with you and answer all of your questions.

“I don’t know that much about the Bible.”  Church and Bible discussions are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus.  Nobody, including members, is expected to speak unless they would like to or unless they have questions or seek clearer understanding. 


Please Join Us!
  
We would love to have you join us for worship.  When you do, feel free to come a few minutes before the service begins or to stay following the service and have a cup of coffee with us.  We'd like to get to know you...but on your terms.