Attending a new church for the first time can be overwhelming! The heart races in anxious anticipation of strange faces, not knowing where to sit, when to stand, what to do, and what to say!
Take a few moments to read the following Quick Start Guide for Visitors and your anxiety level will be lowered and you will be better prepared for a more fulfilling Divine Service next Sunday!
Quick-Start Guide For Visitors
Welcome to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Warsaw!
Here’s a quick-start guide to our Divine Worship on Sundays.
Time: Divine Service begins Sundays 9:00 am, followed by a quick break for refreshments, then Education Hour at 10:15 am. Most people choose to arrive a few minutes early. It affords us a chance to review the service bulletin, arrange the hymnal, read the Scriptures of the day, and humble ourselves for the service.
Meeting place: Nye Youth Cabin 351 N. Buffalo Street
Warsaw, IN 46580 Click here for directions.
At the entrance you will see a table with bulletins, brown hymnals with ribbons, and Bibles. Grab a bulletin and hymnal (the Lutheran Service Book or LSB) and Bible.
Seating: Sit wherever you like! Like to sit in the back? No problem! The front? Have at it. There are no reserved seats here at St. Peter’s.
Bulletin and LSB Hymnal: We worship using liturgy out of the LSB called a Divine Service setting of which there are five. The Divine Service setting we use will change from time to time. We also have a bulletin to help us keep track of our place in the service.
Before the service starts, you may find it helpful to mark your LSB using the ribbons. Mark where you can find the pages with the Divine Service setting and the hymns of the day easily. The bulletin will tell you on which page of the LSB one can find the Divine Service setting and hymns.
Following Along: Any member of the congregation would be glad to help you if you have any questions or need assistance following along. If you don’t understand everything or are afraid of making mistakes or losing place, don’t worry or feel embarrassed. The most important thing is that you hear the Word!
The Liturgy: We use the historic liturgy (which simply means an order of service) that the Christian Church has been using for over 2,000 years old. From the time of the Apostles, the Church has united together in worship of our Triune God through a Divine Service centered on two parts: The Service of the Word and the Service of the Sacrament.
Service of the Word: Because we receive God’s gifts through His Word, you’ll notice that His Word pervades the Divine Service. In fact, almost every word spoken, sung, or chanted is directly from the Scriptures! There will be several Psalms, Epistle readings, and Gospel readings, in addition to the scriptures recited in the liturgy. Some of the Scriptures will be printed in the bulletin for you, and others found in the Bible.
Service of the Sacrament: The second part, the Service of the Sacrament, is the celebration of the Eucharist or Holy Communion, which was instituted by Christ for the forgiveness of sins. (Mt. 26:26) During the Eucharist, we partake of Christ’s sacrifice and atonement in His true body and blood. Through this, we are made one with Him and all Christians throughout the world and all the saints who have gone before. This is why we call it Holy Communion.
For more information about the Divine Service and its Liturgy click the links below
Communion Practice: Those not instructed in the same faith as we confess, and who are not making public profession of that faith by active church membership in an LC-MS congregation are kindly asked not to participate. However, we strongly encourage visitors to remain to observe and hear the Gospel in action as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is distributed in this awe-inspiring celebration.
Those visitors who are active members of an LC-MS congregation, we ask that you present yourself to the pastor prior to the service for examination and your request to participate.
Our Practice of Close Communion: Our practice of close communion is out of our love and concern for you. We would deeply regret if you participated in something in which you did not fully agree unto the injury of your soul. Through communing, one is indicating that they agree with all that we believe, teach and confess as Christians. (1 Cor. 11:18-19,29)
Close communion has been the norm and practice since the early church and is not about keeping people away from Christ’s true Body and Blood, but rather assisting people in coming to God’s Altar with a full and rich understanding of what Christ gives in this salutary meal, (1 Cor. 11:27-29) The pastor would be happy to speak with you about communing here in the future.
For more information click here: The Eucharist
The Sermon (Homily): Christ-centered and Scripture-based exhortation provided by the pastor. No slideshows, worksheets or fill in the blanks required.
Close of Service: We usually sing a closing Hymn and then the altar candles are extinguished by the acolyte. The pastor will then give any announcements.
Education Hour: A study in-depth of the Scriptures for all ages after the service. One class for everyone!
Offerings: God certainly doesn’t need our money. Especially money He provided for us in the first place. But He allows us to give Him thanks for what He has done for us and our monetary offerings are one of those ways. There are NO giving rules or tithe amounts asked for of our members and visitors are NEVER expected to give. The Gospel is free and it is not for sale, but it is yours to take home for keeps!
Dress Code: None demanded, dress as your convictions dictate.
Restrooms: Restrooms are located in the rear of the lobby opposite the entry.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. At St. Peter’s Lutheran Church we understand that children need to hear the Word. Therefore we do not segregate them from the congregation.
Take Down: As we are using the event center temporarily, there will be some minor relocation of worship items to storage after the service and before education hour. Visitors are not expected to assist, so please relax and have a seat. This may be a good time to ask the pastor or an elder questions about what you have just experienced.
Hints: The LSB hymnal has many good model prayers. A quick look at the inside the front and back cover is where you can find the Creeds and Lord’s Prayer and other helpful information.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know! See you on Sunday!