Trinity is a warm and genuinely welcoming congregation for all of God’s beloved children. While our worship style is somewhat structured, our expectations are most certainly not. All are welcome at Trinity…regardless!
Some folks dress up for church, since this has been a part of their church tradition since they were young. Other don’t. Casual dress is more than appropriate for any gathering at Trinity. We think you ought to feel comfortable as you worship and praise the Living Lord!
Our pastors and worship assistants wear traditional chancel vestments (robes) to provide a sense of good order and holiness to worship. For Lutherans, worship is, indeed holy – which means set apart from that which we encounter in our lives most of the rest of the week. Our service is a blended service – melding both old traditions, hymns and readings with more contemporary hymnody and liturgy. Our user friendly worship bulletin contains everything needed to encourage a meaningful experience, and changes weekly.
While singing and music have long been a part of the Lutheran tradition (Lutheranism was the faith which Bach embraced after all!), nobody expects you to have a perfect voice – or that you can even to “carry a tune in a bucket!” We – like the Psalmist urges – make a joyful noise unto the Lord, not necessarily a professional one!
Should I be leery?
We know that checking out a new church can be a challenge: a room full of strangers; how do they worship? How should I dress? Will I be “singled-out” and embarrassingly asked to stand up to be welcomed? Will I leave feeling worse than when I came in?
The answer at Trinity to all of those is NO! We realize that the step to make a first-time visit to a new congregation (or, maybe, an entirely new denomination) is one of the most difficult moves you ever make. And, we don’t want to make it any harder!
When you arrive….
When you visit Trinity (plan to arrive a few minutes before 9:15am), you’ll be welcomed by a Greeter in the Narthex (entry room) – after you’ve taken advantage of our Visitors ONLY! parking spaces – who will hand you the day’s Bulletin (Order for Worship). You can also pick-up a printed copy of the Sermon to follow along. If you wish to have help in finding a seat, the Greeter will ask an Usher or another member to escort you. (But, we feel you’re perfectly capable of seating yourself!) There are no “reserved” seats – except for the ones in the Chancel for the Pastor…but, if you’ve got a better sermon…feel free to sit down in his!
Announcements and the Friendship Pad
Once seated you may be greeted by a member (they are such a genuinely-friendly bunch) while you’re looking over the elements in the Bulletin and checking the “Trending at Trinity” announcements page. About 9:15am, the Pastor (the one wearing the funny-looking dress – a robe) will welcome everyone and encourage all to complete the Friendship Pad (a black vinyl folder at the center aisle of each pew). Please share as much/little information as you wish (but, do – at least – give us your name so we can get an accurate count of attendance numbers for the day).
The Friendship Pads are passed down the pew and then back to the center open, so that later in the service (at “The Peace”) you may be greeted by members as you, yourself, share God’s Peace with members of the congregation around you.
Will signing it obligate me to anything? Is a salesman going to call?
Again, NO! If you leave identifying information on the pad, you can expect to receive a postcard or email from the Pastor sometime during the following week thanking you for spending your worship time with us and inviting you back. You’ll never be asked to stand or in any other way singled out or bothered by Trinity members. We respect your privacy, your personal space, and know you are in a vulnerable spot. We won’t hog-tie you to get you to come back; but, we will invite you!
The Bulletin contains everything you need (except the hymns) to ‘navigate’ the service comfortably and meaningfully. The hymn numbers are indicated in the Bulletin, and found in either the red (Evangelical Lutheran Worship) or blue (With One Voice) hymnals in the pew rack in front of you. You’ll even see the red type rubrics – which tell you when to stand, or sit or move. (We call this Sunday morning aerobics!)
At The Eucharist (Holy Communion), you will be directed by an usher into one of 2 lines in the center aisle (depending on which side you’re sitting). All Christians -regardless of denomination or age – are invited to The Eucharist. You may receive the Sacrament in one of three ways (whichever is most comfortable for you):
Individual Glass: a stand of empty cups is at the head of the center aisle. Take one, and proceed to the Pastor/Celebrant who will hand you a wafer with the words: The body of Christ given for you.
- If you wish to receive the wafer on your tongue, simply extend it slightly
- If you wish to commune by Intinction (see below) – no need to take a cup
- If you wish only a blessing (no bread or wine), fold your arms across your chest
- If you are sensitive to gluten, just whisper that to the Pastor and a gluten-free wafer will be handed to you
Once you have received the wine from the Eucharistic minister, there is a disposal basket on a stand just to his/her right. Place your used cup in the basket
- Intinction: by dipping the wafer into the Chalice of (real) wine located to either side of the Pastor and presented to you by a member of the congregation serving as an Eucharistic Minister for the day
- Common Cup: if your tradition is to drink from the common cup, eat your wafer as you approach the Eucharistic minister, extend your hands, and the Eucharistic minister will guide the Cup to your lips
At the End…
Following the Recessional Hymn everybody leaves! We generally (weather permitting) exit through the rear door (opposite the one you came in) which opens into the Courtyard. I (and my wife) will be there to greet you, thank you, and invite you to join us for coffee and goodies in the Parish Hall (follow the crowd of hungry Lutherans!)