Worship Services at Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church worships in a dynamic traditional style. Holy Communion is celebrated at all weekend services as well as at many of the special seasonal services. We use The Lutheran Service Book and the traditional Orders of Worship at all weekend services. A staffed nursery is normally available for infants through three year olds at the Sunday morning services.
Sunday Worship: 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Saturday Worship: 5:30 p.m.
Good Shepherd also has regularly scheduled Wednesday evening services during the seasons of Advent and Lent. These services take place at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. with a soup supper in between.
Wednesday Evening Prayer: 6:15-6:45 p.m.
This is a shorter, meditational service without Holy Communion. While it not meant to be a subsitute for our main weekend worship service, it is a great way to be refreshed in faith. Click here for a past service.
Thursday School Chapel: 8:30-9:00 a.m.
This service is specifically designed for the children in our school. But anyone is welcome to attend. The service is led by the pastors, youth leader, and other special guests.
Wednesday Advent & Lenten Services: 4:30-5:30 p.m. and 7:00-8:00 p.m.
During the seasons of Advent (December) and Lent (March/April) we suspend the Evening Prayer services and have two services of the word without Holy Communion. We also have a congregational supper between services.
What About Liturgical Worship?
The word "liturgy" simply refers to the "order" of a worship service. Virtually every Christian church has some kind of order to their worship. It might be as simple as 1. Singing 2. Message from the pastor 3. Prayers.
Our order of worship is designed to accomplish some important things that we believe are essential for all Christians. In our worship we remembering our Baptism and being brought into God's kingdom. We confess our sins and hear God's promises of forgiveness. We sing psalms of praise and hymns that, like the psalms, focus on the works of God first and our feelings second. We hear the Scriptures read. We confess each Sunday a short summary of the Christian Gospel in an ancient creed. We teach and apply the Scripture in a 15-20 minute sermon. We bring our prayers to God. We celebrate each weekend the gift of Christ's life, death and resurrection in Holy Communion. This kind of worship service is very full, and there may be parts of it that you don't completely understand. But that is where our Bible study and our ongoing participation in worship help us to better understand and to receive all of its benefits.
Some people say that liturgical worship is boring. In some ways they are right. It may seem boring to repeat certain things like the confession of our sins every Sunday. But there is variety in our worship. We follow the beautiful themes of Scripture in the life of Christ as we work through the seasons of the church year - Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, and so on. The thing is, it's not all variety. It is also repetition. We believe this is very important for a healthy Christian faith. It is similar to what we do when we eat regular meals, exercise regularly, or take certain medicines regularly.
The liturgy or order of service that we use is based on a pattern that goes all the way back to the Bible itself. It has developed slowly over the centuries, and it has proven itself to be a very substantial and faith strengthening experience for Christians of all ages.
What About Contemporary Worship?
The following is a blog post by Pastor Walther helps to explain our view of worship...
Worship: Chocolate or Vanilla?
I was involved in what people today call "Contemporary Worship" long before it was known by that name. In high school (1970s) our youth group asked the pastor if we could have a "Folk Service." He asked us what would be involved in such a service. All we could think of was playing songs on guitars. (Obviously we had no business planning a worship service.) He then asked, "Do you think it might be good to have a few Scripture readings?" "Oh yeah," we said. "How about the Apostles' Creed, a sermon, and prayers?" "That would be great." Little by little he had us back to the basic worship service!
As a campus pastor in the 1980s I came into a ministry that had been using contemporary worship. As a guitarist and singer, I looked forward to the freedom this gave me to explore different worship styles. However I found it increasingly difficult to find music that wasn't repetitive or would fit well with the themes of the Church Year. I also found myself spending a lot of time trying to develop these services, valuable time that could have been used going out to meet students.
For the last twenty years I've been serving in a church that uses very traditional worship.
I used to accept the idea that worship styles didn't really matter, but I've definitely had a change of heart about that. This isn't a chocolate or vanilla question. There are some major differences between the two styles of worship as they have developed to this point. Here are five that I find quite important:
1. Both contemporary and traditional worship can be emotional. But I believe that emotions take a primary role in contemporary worship. The music tends to focus on the mood of the worshiper more than the mind. Sounds are primary; texts are secondary.
2. Traditional worship tends to be more theological than therapeutic. Contemporary worship reverses those. Traditional worship focuses primarily on the person and work of Christ and then the new life. Contemporary worship tends to focus on the new life.
3. I will grant that contemporary worship may be more relevant to the unbeliever. After all I wouldn't expect an unchurched person to have any clue what "Here I lay my Ebenezer" means as it is sung in "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." But if our central worship service reaches low to be relevant, how does the church lift its members to relate more deeply to Christ?
4. Contemporary worship tends to be a much more passive experience for the worshiper. We tend to sit back and watch the show. This is certainly something our culture encourages. Traditional worship engages the worshiper in responsive readings, prayers and songs, creedal affirmations, standing, sitting, and kneeling. In this way traditional worship is counter-cultural.
5. Traditional worship is aimed to serve people of all ages. Yes, even little children often enjoy traditional worship, whereas the more contemporary the more likely the children will be dismissed. Contemporary worship loves to divide up into groups (Boomers, Busters, Mosaics, etc.) Traditional worship loves to unify the octogenarians as well as the eight day olds.
For these reasons (and more that I don't have time to go into) I am convinced that traditional worship should have and will always have a central role in the life of the church.
This doesn't mean that we can't have "lighter" or "age-oriented" worship experiences. As long as we fix some of the issues involved in #s 1 & 2 above, I think there can be a place for these in the life of the church. But their place must always be secondary and supportive of the main worship of the church. They should be designed to lead the worshiper toward the central worship experience of the church and not away from it.