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Heartland Community Parish
Pastor Darrell Morton
First Lutheran Church
10 Pleasant Ave
PO Box 98
Akeley, MN 56433
Sunday School - 9:15 am
(Fall to Spring)
Fellowship - 9:30 am
Worship - 10:30 am
Hours: 9-Noon, Tu-Th
Bethany Lutheran Church
100 3rd Ave
Nevis, MN 56467
Worship - 9:00 am
Fellowship - 10:00 am
Sunday School - 10:10 am
(Fall to Spring)
Hours: 9-Noon, M, W, F
|What To Expect|
What to wear. Wear what's comfortable for you! Some people will be here all dressed up - marking Sunday as a special day and wanting to show honor and respect for God. Others will dress more casually, recognizing that God sees beyond the external and welcomes everyone. Some wear dresses and some wear sweat pants! We greatly appreciate, though, the use of good sense in dressing for worship, to show respect for self and others as we gather as a community in God's presence.
So, you've decided to come to worship, study or an event, and you have a good idea where to go. Parking is easy - either on the street or in our adjacent lot. On Sunday mornings you can use any of the three front and side entrances to our building. Other times you'll probably need to enter via the parking lot door on the side. Handicap-accessible entrances are either the front door or the parking lot door.
Here are some worship tips: When you walk in the door, someone will likely greet you and make sure you can find your way to the sanctuary. An usher will give you a bulletin, and welcome you just like everyone else.
Then you'll take a seat in a pew. We don't have assigned seats - sit wherever you'll be comfortable! You will be facing the table and the lectern, the visual focal points for worship.
There is a green book and a blue book in front of you, and Bibles at the end of each pew. The green book is the Lutheran Book of Worship. The blue book is With One Voice. We use both hymn books nearly every Sunday. The bulletin will indicate in which book you can find any hymns or liturgy pieces by designating the green book as LBW and the blue book as WOV.
Before the service begins, there is usually some visiting going on, but you are certainly welcome to take time during the prelude for quiet reflection and prayer.
During the service there will be times for standing and times for sitting. The pastor or leader will invite people who are able to stand, when that is appropriate. If you are unable to stand, uncomfortable standing for long periods, caring for a small child, or otherwise inconvenienced by standing, then please stay seated! Worshiping God happens with our whole being, no matter what posture we're in.
People may notice you're having trouble following along. Don't worry - you're not alone! Our service of worship changes regularly, so even people who have been here a while don't always know what's next! If we're too confused to ask you if you need help, please feel free to ask someone next to you! Lutherans don't want to invade your privacy or embarrass you. However, once you ask, they'll be glad to help! Together, you'll get each other on track, and if you like, they'll go through the rest of the service with you, step by step. "Liturgy" means "the work of the people". It's done best when we really do it together!
The nursery - with books and blocks and other toys - is always available. However, we rarely staff our nusery, as we encourage people of all ages to participate in worship. If a little one needs a break, please feel free to spend some time with distractions in the nursery. We hope you and your little one will find your way back into worship soon!
Tips on Sitting and Standing:
We sit to listen. This includes the sermon, which normally lasts around 12 minutes, Bible passages (except the Gospel), and gathering the offering (just because it's easier to do when we're seated).
And we stand to pray and sing. Praying and singing are the parts when we are most "active", so standing is good to get the whole body involved. Also, we stand during the Gospel as a sign of anticipation (like when a bride walks down the aisle), and respect for the Word of God (like when a judge enters a courtroom).
At some time during any worship service, there is a collection of money which helps support the work of the church internally, in the community, and globally. At First Lutheran, as Christ's guest, you are in no way expected to put anything in the collection plate. In fact, many of our members send in their offerings through the mail, so when the plate comes past them they don't put anything in. Please, please do not feel an obligation to contribute financially. This is our opportunity to serve you as Christ's guest.
The scoop on Holy Communion:
Christ comes to meet us - and become one with us and make us one - through the gift of Holy Communion. If you are feeling drawn to a deeper awareness of God's presence in your life, please come forward when the usher invites your pew to go to the communion rail. All people are welcome at Christ's table here. If you are not comfortable receiving Holy Communion, you can remain in your seat, and perhaps sing a hymn, joining in the celebration that way.
Through receiving Holy Communion, three spiritual things happen. First, we believe that Communion is both a sign and the fulfillment of God's grace, and through it we receive God's forgiveness and God's healing of our brokenness. Second, in Holy Communion we are once again reminded of and restored to our oneness with Jesus Christ and with God's people. And third, Communion is a preview, if you will, of the great banquet which awaits us in God's reign.
Again, if you are unable, for whatever reason, to kneel at the communion rail, stand instead. Many of our members stand because of back problems, knee problems or personal preference.
If you are unable to walk to the communion rail, let your usher know, and the pastor and chalice bearer will be delighted to bring the Bread of Life and Cup of Love to you in your pew. If, for any reason, you prefer or require unfermented grape juice, that is availabe. It will be clear/white and placed in the center of the tray of individual cups or will have a ribbon tied around it when we share a common chalice by "intinction", which means we receive the bread and dip the bread in the cup to receive both the Bread and Wine.