Welcome to Bethel Lutheran Church! We hope that you will visit and worship with us. The following is some practical information for your visit to Bethel so that you will have an idea of what we do here and why we do it.
Worship at Bethel
At Bethel we use the Historic Liturgy from the church’s hymnal.
Worship at Bethel is called the “Divine Service” because in the worship service, it is Christ who serves us. He delivers in this service the salvation He accomplished by His life, death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit gives us what is Christ’s through the preached Word, Holy Baptism, Holy Absolution and the Holy Communion.
Worship at Bethel is liturgical. That means we follow an order of service that has been handed down in the church since biblical times, always anchored in and richly full of God’s Word and promises. The Holy Liturgy combines what is best from the church’s entire history and life and doesn’t seek merely to cater to one particular age group or generation. Thus, worship at Bethel is timeless.
Worship at Bethel uses a service book, commonly called a “hymnal.” Inside our hymnal, you will find prayers, the orders of service, psalms and hymns old and new. For those who are not accustomed to using a hymnal or regular order of service, it can take some getting used to. But simply follow the outline in the worship bulletin and you will always know on what page you should be. Better yet, just ask one of Bethel’s friendly members to help you if you need to find your place!
Holy Communion at Bethel
Guests and Visitors who desire to receive the Sacrament of the Altar are asked to speak with the pastor before the service. Members in good standing of other Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations are also asked to present themselves to the pastor or an elder before the start of the service.
At Bethel, we confess that what is received at the altar is Jesus true Body and Blood in, with and under the bread and wine. The bread and wine are not just “symbols” but Jesus true body and true blood given us to eat and drink. At Bethel, we follow the Scriptural and historic practice of Altar Fellowship (sometimes called Closed Communion). This means that those who have not been instructed in the Christian Faith, examined in their knowledge of the Catechism and Absolved of their sins are not able to receive the Lord’s Body and Blood with us. Because the Lord’s Supper is also a testimony to our unity in preaching and teaching the same doctrine, those who belong to churches which teach differently than Bethel are not given the Sacrament. Our pastor is very open in discussing what is very often a misunderstood practice. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to speak with the pastor.
As a courtesy to fellow pastors who have instructed God’s people in the Christian Faith as laid out in the Small Catechism, we are happy to invite members of other Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations to commune with us when they visit. Those doing so are asked to please announce their desire to commune to the pastor or an elder prior to the start of the service.
Membership at Bethel
Bethel is happy to receive members by transfer from other Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations provided they are leaving their current congregation in good standing, i.e., they are not under pastoral discipline.
Those who are not Lutheran are encouraged to speak with the pastor about studying Christian Doctrine in the Bible and Small Catechism. This class is taught by the pastor. While it makes no requirements for membership it does prepare a person to be received into Bethel’s congregation by Adult Confirmation.
At Bethel, we take very seriously Christ’s command to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded.” We do this by instructing people young and old in the teachings of the Christian church. Young children are taught the Faith from infancy, older Youth are instructed in the Bible and Catechism and adults are also instructed in the same. Those who are baptized at Bethel enjoy all the “rights and privileges” of membership at Bethel. Those who were given Christian baptism elsewhere are taught the Catechism and received into the membership of the congregation by Adult Confirmation. Please inquire about membership from the pastor if you would like to know more. Click here to view the Small Catechism.
Opportunities for Study, Fellowship and Service
Bethel offers many opportunities for study, fellowship and service. Please view our calendar page to learn about the times and places of activities in the congregation.