Visiting a church for the first time can be an anxious experience. Knowing what to expect is helpful. Here is something of what you can expect when you visit St. Mark’s. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.
How should I dress?
We don’t have a dress code at St. Mark’s. Some of our parishioners, as an expression of their reverence for God’s presence, prefer to dress more formally; others, intending no irreverence, prefer to dress casually. Wear what feels comfortable!
Where should I park?
There isn’t any off-street parking. Feel free to park anywhere near the church, just be mindful not to block anyone’s driveway.
What about children?
We always welcome children in worship and aim to help families worship together. Our liturgical form of worship, with its weekly repetition, makes it easy for everyone to participate in worship.
What is the worship service like?
Our worship service uses a liturgical format that follows a consistent pattern from week to week. The entire order of service, complete with directions for when to stand, speak, etc., is printed in the hymnal that is waiting for you in your pew. A bulletin with a sidebar guide is also handed to everyone as they come into the sanctuary. Our pastor also gives verbal guidance regarding the service.
Our music is accompanied by organ or piano, and most of the liturgy is chanted or sung. Hymns are sung from our hymnal, The Lutheran Service Book.
If you are unfamiliar with liturgical worship, don’t be concerned. You may find at first that you just want to stand back and observe; that is perfectly acceptable. You will discover that after only a few weeks you are learning the words and motions. For more information visit the Worship page. For even more information visit the About the Divine Service page.
Should I receive Communion?
Holy Communion is joyfully celebrated on the second and fourth Sundays of the month and held in very high regard. Our church confesses the Real Presence of Jesus’ very body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine: in our mouths, we receive His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. Out of concern for those who commune, and in faithfulness to the Scriptures, we therefore encourage only baptized Christians who share our confession to receive Communion:
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. (I Corinthians 11.27-29)
For those who are not baptized or do not share our confession, you are welcomed and encouraged to come forward for a blessing. Simply join those in your pew when they are ushered to the altar, then at the communion rail cross your arms in front of your chest to indicate you would like a blessing, not the Sacrament. If you are interested in Baptism or learning more about what we believe, teach, and confess, please contact the pastor. He would love to talk with you.
What happens afterward?
Following the service you are, of course, free to go, but for those who would like to get to know us better there is always plenty of coffee and refreshments available afterwards—please join us!