What to Expect

What to Expect?

The Service Begins
Before the service begins there will be a few announcements read out and displayed on the screen.  Following this, the service begins when the first song is played and everyone (who is able to) stands up to sing. The priest and server will walk in from the back of the church and take their places while this song is being sung. The priest will give some opening words of welcome and we all join in some prayers- all of which is displayed on the screen at the front of the church.

At this point, the children are invited to come to the front of the church for a short children's talk. After the children's talk children aged 3 to 12 usually go off to Sunday school (except in summer). Visiting children are welcome to join the Sunday school or they can stay with you.

Children 2 and under may go to the nursery, which is staffed by one or two adults.  If you wish, you may want to stay in there with your child, the service is piped in so you wont miss anything.

We Listen for God Speaking to Us
The service proceeds with three readings from the Bible, the old testament, the new testamanet, and the Gospel reading.  After the readings have ended, we proceed into some more music, which we call praise and worship.  You may stand or sit during this time.  Musical choices range from contemporary to traditional.

Following praise and worship, our Pastor, or a guest speaker will give a Sermon, generally based on one or more of the scripture readings for the day.

Following the sermon, the priest invites everyone to stand again and the service proceeds with everyone saying together one of the historic creeds (a statement of the basics of the Christian faith written in the 3rd Century).

You will then be invited to sit or kneel as a member of the congregation leads a prayer called "The Prayers of the People." In it we pray for the church, the world, the sick and suffering, those who have died and other matters depending on what is happening in the world and our lives. 

Following that, the priest then leads a short "confession and absolution" where we are encouraged to acknowledge our own brokenness and failings before God and then the priest pronounces God's forgiveness. St. Luke's doesn't dwell on guilt or sin but we do acknowledge it as part of the human condition and recognize that we need God's forgiveness.

We then continue with the sharing of the peace. We share the peace by greeting each other in the name of Christ.  You will find that most of our congregation will hug each other, but dont feel obliged to lean in for a big hug; if you simply place your hand out, we will simply shake your hand and introduce ourselves. 

After the Peace is shared, we will sing another song while we pass the offering plate.  While we are grateful for all God's provisions, you can pass the plate on without putting anything in it without embarrassment; the offering is meant for the members of St. Luke's to give thanks for all God has given us as individuals and as a church.

The priest will then say a prayer over the offerings and we move on to the central part of the service, the communion.

The Celebration of the Eucharist
The priest leads the prayer of consecration over the bread and wine. After saying the Lord's Prayer together everyone is invited to come forward to have communion. At St. Luke's our ushers (sidespeople) will let you know when your pew can walk to the front to receive communion.

In our tradition we invite all baptised Christians of every denomination to join us for communion. Just come forward to the front of the church and either kneel at the altar rail or stand.  When the priest comes by with the bread  just put out your hands and he will place a wafer on your palm. You then can either eat it immediately and then sip the wine when it is offered to you, or hold on to the wafer and dip the edge in the wine when it is offered and eat the wafer then. Alternatively, if yuo do not wish to partake in the wine you may simply hold the cup and hand it back.  The bread and wine will be offered to you with a phrase such as 'the body of Christ which is broken for you' or 'the blood of Christ shed for you'. The response is "amen" but you can remain silent if you wish.

If you don't wish to receive communion (or you are not a baptized Christian) simply cross your arms over your chest when the priest or server approaches  and they will give you a blessing instead. Once you have received communion you return to your seat. When communion is finished there are some closing songs and prayers.

When the service is over everyone is invited to stay for coffee, or once a month, lunch.  We encourage you to stay and meet some new people, and ask questions, or just chat.

We hope that you enjoy your visit with us. 
 

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