I’m New Here
Welcome to worship and the community that gathers at Our Savior’s Lutheran
We are a congregation of many ages, professions, opinions, and even some differing beliefs. The one thing that binds us is that we are all broken children of God, in need of God’s restoration and renewal in the midst of a loving, caring community. For that reason, we recognize that we are all gathered together by God’s Holy Spirit, around the cross of Jesus Christ, and in order to be sent out as faithful disciples of Jesus!
It’s not easy visiting a new church for the first time. Sometimes you feel like a non-member visiting a country club…
Do I belong here? Am I really welcome? Will the people be unfriendly, or too friendly? Will I be conspicuous? Will it be easy to leave if I don’t enjoy it? Will they ask me for money? Will my kids enjoy it? How should I dress? Am I welcome if I don’t believe?
It is our goal to make your visit a fulfilling and empowering experience; easy, stress-free, and relaxing. We want Our Savior’s to be a place where YOU feel comfortable… whatever your background, or current or past lifestyle, even if you have never been to church before.
Our Savior’s is located on Leonard Street. There is street parking, but also a parking lot behind the building. Entrances are located off the alley/parking lot, East Avenue, and on Leonard Street. The Leonard Street entrance has an elevator to either the upper or lower level. Restrooms are located on both levels, next to the elevator.
God doesn’t have a dress code, and neither do we! Most people dress nicely, but casually. Please come any way YOU want. You will see people in jeans and a shirt, you will see other people in suit coats and dresses. Our desire is for you to feel comfortable and welcomed in every way. After all, this isn’t our house…it’s God’s house!
Rule number one – relax! You can’t make a “mistake” in worship.
Our worship generally takes about 60 minutes, give or take a few minutes. The service is liturgical, with words taken from scripture, and following the ancient traditions of the church. Don’t worry – it’s all in the bulletin, or occasionally in the hymnal (we’ll tell you the page when we get there!).
Liturgical worship is almost something of a “drama.” We hear words, we are surrounded by music (more on that in a moment), and we move – we sit and stand, we pray, and we even greet each other with the peace of Jesus Christ. All of this is a part of involving our whole selves in the worship experience. At Our Savior’s we do not have a stage because are not spectators in worship – we are participants. Nonetheless, please feel free to participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable doing.
As part of the experience, we invite you to turn off your electronic devices, and for a short while, simply be in the moment, in the presence of a gracious God, surrounded by the community of the faithful. Think of this as a few moments of “retreat” from a busy and hectic world, a moment and place where you can be renewed and restored by God’s gifts of life.
After the service, we invite you to greet Pastor Jon and Pastor Jean, and introduce yourself. They will be standing at the back, shaking hands and chatting.
Children are ALWAYS welcome in worship. A cry room is available, but rarely used. Activity bags for younger children are available in the coat rack area outside the worship space. Grab one, and return it on your way out. We want our kids with us, and they participate, even sharing in the prayers of the community. So don’t worry if they are a bit noisy – remember it’s God who made them that way!
One more thing – guests are never singled out. You will not be asked to stand up, wear a name tag, or do anything that might make you feel awkward. Our regular attendees enter their name/address on a pew pad, and we welcome you to do the same. That helps us follow up with you. But if you’re not comfortable right away, just come, worship and be fed, and share with us when you are ready.
Our preaching and teaching is biblically based and is most often delivered by one of our pastors. They have different styles – Pastor Jean uses the pulpit, while Pastor Jon strolls the aisle. Either way, they have a passion for the crucified and risen Jesus. They are adamant – the gospel is about God at work, not us, and at work through the crucified and risen Jesus!
And we don’t forget children – each service also includes a Children’s Message.
Our music incorporates a variety of styles. Each week we change up our style a bit, from organ to piano to our SOS Band. Our choir sings frequently, the handbells share music, and our Sunday School children sing several times a year.
Holy Communion or the Eucharist
At Our Savior’s, the Lord’s Supper is generally celebrated each weekend. We believe everyone is welcome at the Lord’s table. You do not have to be a member of the congregation, or even Lutheran, in order to partake. All we ask is that you believe in the promise that Jesus is present in the bread and wine. Come forward as you wish – and if you would rather not, that fine too – never feel pressured! If you do come forward, hold your hands out to receive the bread. Gluten-free wafers are available. Select an individual cup of wine or grape juice (marked on the tray). Younger children are encouraged to come forward for a blessing. When you return to your seat we invite you to take time for prayer.
We believe that all we have is a gift from God, entrusted to us to use wisely and faithfully . Giving an offering is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others as you give back a portion of what God has placed in your are. As we share, we become a part of God’s work in the world. Our financial gifts really do make a difference!
No one dictates what each person shall give. You are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give, but as a visitor, your presence is already a gift to us! Offering plates are not passed, but are available at the entrance to sanctuary for you to use as you God calls you.
We love new kids in Sunday School! To enter your child in Sunday School, you can contact us ahead of time (just send an e-mail or give us a call), or just show up! Feel free to look for the classroom (most are in the lower level and are identified with a sign), or ask someone to help you find one of the pastors. We’ll get you set! You can find more information on our children’s faith formation right here.
OUR SAVIOR’S LUTHERAN CHURCH
359 N. Leonard
West Salem, WI 54669