Visiting Prince of Peace
Welcome to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church!
Have you ever visited a church and not known what to expect? Have you ever felt like you were always one step behind where everyone else was during the worship service? We know how you feel, because we too have experienced just that feeling. For this reason we have prepared the following information to help you to feel like you fit in from your very first visit with us.
What can you expect if you visit Prince of Peace?
Well, you can expect first of all to be warmly welcomed.
You will notice that before services we are very busy, setting up the audiovisual equipment, double checking the music with the musician, preparing goodies for the fellowship hour following services, and greeting people. Many come in early to pray before worship and they are encouraged to do so, but it won’t stop activity around them.
We provide a PowerPoint version of each Sunday's worship bulletin, which is displayed on a large screen to the right of the altar. Our services begin with announcements and continue most often with a general confession.
Because the Church wants always to keep its eyes upon Jesus, its guide, we turn and face the Cross which is carried into the church from the back as we sing the opening or processional hymn. We slowly turn toward the front of the church as we follow the Cross, which is placed behind the altar.
People from other denominations are sometimes surprised either that it is not a bare cross, or that it is not a crucifix with the body of the crucified Christ depicted. Actually, we use both. At certain times of the year, particularly during Lent, we need to be reminded that we are sinners in need of Christ's sacrifice. We need to be reminded that to follow Christ does not just mean to receive God's gifts, but may also mean to follow Him onto the Cross. Then we use the crucifix. At other times, especially following Easter, we remind ourselves that death is not God's last word; but that Christ was raised from the dead and we live also in hope of eternal life, and so we then use a cross which is empty. Whichever we may be using at the time, we remember to "keep our eyes upon Jesus!"
Following a plea for mercy and a hymn of praise (in which the congregation participates), portions of the Scriptures are read and the sermon is preached based on what we have read of God’s Word for the day. The purpose of the sermon is to help the congregation to understand what God is saying to us and how to apply it to our lives.
After the sermon we sing a hymn and usually make a statement of our faith. The prayers of the Church are offered and the “peace” is passed. In our church, since we are small, most people get up and greet everyone they can. You can expect that someone may ask you where you are from!
During the offering, you may notice that one of the ushers carries an offering basket that is lined with green felt. This basket is for anyone who wishes to offer their loose change (or bills). This money which is collected each Sunday is used for various and special Church needs and outreach.
Then Holy Communion is offered. All those baptized believers who share with us the faith that in, with, and under the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, we receive the body and blood, the very presence of Christ Himself, for the forgiveness of our sins and guarantee of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, are welcome to receive. Those who do not wish to receive may come forward, cross their arms across their chests, and receive a blessing. Anyone for whom coming forward is difficult may remain in their pew, and Holy Communion will gladly be brought to them. The Sacrament is also brought to one or more nursing homes following the service. After communion there is a brief response, prayer, benediction, and the closing hymn. The congregation once again faces the Cross, turning slowly to follow, as it leaves the sanctuary.
After the worship service, almost everyone continues to the Fellowship Hall for coffee and a variety of goodies, and guests are cordially invited to join us. They will find themselves very welcome. Following fellowship we have an adult Bible study to which everyone is also invited. You will find our Bible studies to be interesting and lively, and while not required, most present participate actively.
Come see us! Join us as we “practice” keeping our eyes upon Jesus!