How We Worship

As Lutherans we worship in “Word and Sacrament.”  We encounter God through the Word of the Bible, the Word who is Christ (John 1:1), and the Word made tangible in the sacraments of baptism and communion.  Lutherans practice these two sacraments with all ages, baptizing infants through adults, and welcoming children to the communion table along with all who hunger for the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives.  Wherever you are on your faith journey, you are welcome to share in Word and Sacrament at Good Shepherd.

Good Shepherd is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  We believe and practice their interpretation of Worship . . .

A foundation of faith for everything we do

For Lutherans, worship stands at the center of our life of faith. Through God’s word, water, bread and prayer we are nurtured in faith and sent out into the world.

Connected with and central to everything we do, worship unites us in celebration, engages us in thoughtful dialogue and helps us grow in faith. It grounds us in our Christian and Lutheran roots, while demonstrating practical relevance for today’s world.

While some of the approaches to worship may differ from one ELCA congregation to another, we hold certain things in common.  Central to our worship life is the presence of God through word and sacrament. The word proclaimed and the sacraments —both Holy Baptism and Holy Communion — are called the means of grace. We believe that Jesus Christ is present in these means through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we describe worship as a “gathering around the means of grace.”

There is also a basic pattern for worship among Lutherans. We gather. We encounter God’s word. We share a meal at the Lord’s table. And we are sent into the world. But we do not think about worship so much in terms of what we do. Worship is fundamentally about what God is doing and our response to God’s action. Worship is an encounter with God, who saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Worship Times and Styles

Pre-pandemic, Good Shepherd held three Sunday Worship services, each with different styles and lengths. However, we not currently worshiping in-person yet.  For more information on how to worship with us during this unique period in time, please visit our Worship During COVID-19 page. We hope to see you all in person soon! Please check back to our home page frequently for updates on our reopening.

The Sacraments

Holy Communion

The Sacrament of Holy Communion is offered to anyone who hungers for a relationship with Jesus. All are welcome! Holy Communion is offered at all of our regular worship services.

For those who prefer, they may come forward during Holy Communion and receive a blessing instead of the bread and wine/juice. Children who have not yet celebrated their first communion may also come forward to receive a blessing.

We’re happy to serve those who have mobility challenges by bringing the Communion elements to them. Let an usher know or have a family member tell the pastor as he or she is being served.

Parents of young children ask about when is it the “right time” for a child to receive Communion for the first time. There is no one “right time,” but a general guideline is when children begin to express interest or ask questions. Baptized children who are being nurtured in faith and instructed in the meaning of Communion are welcome to receive. We recognize that children’s understanding will vary according to their age and maturity. Good Shepherd helps with this instruction through periodic classes or family conversations with the pastor. For more information, contact Pr. Scott Trevithick.

Holy Baptism

As Lutherans, we practice baptism of infants through adults and believe that baptism is a gift from God, not the result of human work or decision. When babies or small children are baptized, the pastor meets with parents and sponsors (also called godparents) to discuss the meaning of baptism and begin a "baptismal journey" with God that will last the child's entire life. For adults, the pastor will discuss the baptismal journey directly with them. Baptism at any age is beautiful!  

If you are interested in baptism at Good Shepherd, please contact Pr. Scott Trevithick.

 

 

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