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Our pianist accompanies us as we sing hymns, and follow one of the Divine Service liturgical* settings from The Lutheran Service Book .
The Scripture readings follow the Three-Year Lectionary* (*see: ... The Divine Service; What is a Liturgical Service?; & The Lectionary, below).
Recent, and archived sermons can be heard here >>
Music is a very meaningful part of our worship service at Hope. With the weekly Scripture readings (Lectionary) in mind, our pastor chooses several hymns from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's Lutheran Service Book, which beautifully and richly proclaim God's Word. All congregational singing is accompanied by the piano, including parts of the service where the liturgy is sung by our pastor, and the congregation.
The Divine Service at Hope often includes hymns sung by our adult choir. Occasionally, congregational singing is accompanied by the gifts
of various instrumentalists, particularly on the 5th Sundays of a month. Choir practices are held at 7:00 PM, the first three Wednesdays of the month, from October through May, led by Patricia Bale. During Advent season children pause from their regular Sunday School lessons, to spend time being taught hymns by our pianist, Rebecca Abbott. Children sing these hymns during the early Christmas Eve Divine Service. Recently, the children practiced a hymn and sang during our Palm Sunday Service as well.
The Lord said so clearly, “Let the little children come to me and do not forbid them…” (Mark 10:14). Rejoice in the gift of your little ones and know that God gave them the vibrant energy that sometimes causes them to wiggle and make noise. They belong right here in God’s house where you have so faithfully brought them. Stick with it! Do what you can to quietly explain the parts of the Divine Service, the actions of the pastor, the altar assistants, and the like. If you need help, the volume Worshiping with Angels and Archangels is available on the Bible and hymnal shelf at the entrance of the church (ask an usher if you need help). It is full of helpful explanations regarding why we do what we do in holy worship.
Remember, too, that children learn the language of faith in the same way they learn to speak their native language – by watching and listening to you! Sing the hymns, fold your hands and pray, participate in the liturgy as best as you can. It will take patience. It will be challenging. It may even take a few YEARS! But it will be worth it!
Certainly we don’t want to make it difficult for the people around us to receive what Christ is seeking to give to them, and so there is a certain level of courtesy and common sense that must be employed for keeping a child in the pews when he clearly needs to be taken into the nursery or fellowship hall for “parental recalibration” (e.g. screaming at the top of his lungs during the scripture readings or sermon). Nevertheless, you and your child belong in the presence of Jesus. Correct and calm him as best you can and then come back AS SOON AS YOU ARE ABLE!
The blessing is ours, to greet the little ones with a smile, and build up and encourage parents in love. The presence of children in this place is a gift from God and a visual reminder that He is keeping His promise that the gates of hell will never prevail against His church. Behold, a simple proof that the Gospel will indeed be preserved for generations to come!*
Our Sunday School classes are a welcoming and safe place for people of all ages. We are blessed to have a team of men and women teaching each group of children: our preschool-2nd grade; 3rd-5th grades; middle schoolers; and high school. For more details about our children's Sunday School program, go to our Children & Parents page >>
We encourage everyone to take advantage of Pastor Meyer's Sunday morning adult Bible studies! Babies and toddlers are welcome to accompany their parents in the sanctuary -- there's plenty of room for a busy little one to move around and play with some toys, while Mom and Dad enjoy some good discussion and learning nearby. Teens are welcome to attend the adult study or the teen study. Sunday Adult Bible studies are recorded -- click here to listen. Classes for adults and children are combined for intergenerational study and fellowship on special occasions.
In Sunday school, no question is a silly question, or too simplistic to be worthy of being asked. No matter where we are in our understanding of
the Christian faith, our goal is to encourage one another as we learn the Scriptures together. We trust the Holy Spirit to work through His Word, wherever it is preached or taught, to deliver to us what He has promised: that His Law would confront us, and "repent us" in our ever present struggle with sin; that He will point us to our merciful Christ who forgives sins and gives us salvation, apart from any merit of our own. Through this Word of Gospel, we trust the Holy Spirit to grow in us hearts of love and gratitude, which respond in happy, humble obedience to His written Will, and in compassionate service to our neighbor.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHILDREN'S SUNDAY SCHOOL AT HOPE, CLICK HERE >>
Lutheran Worship, traditionally called "The Divine Service," puts the focus squarely on Jesus Christ, who is present for us and with us through His gifts of His Word and sacraments (Baptism and The Lord's Supper). Lutheran worship is, therefore, Christ-centered, not man-centered. When we are gathered for worship, we are not contemplating some far-off Christ or meditating on abstract concepts, or pondering various principles for living. Neither are we in the church to be amused or entertained. Christ is living and active among us, right where He has promised to be, in His gifts to us: His Word [Scripture] and Sacraments [Baptism, Lord's Supper]. What a blessing it is to be called and gathered for worship by our good and gracious God!
The rhythm of our worship is from Him to us, and then from us back to Him. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Jesus Christ serves us again and again as His Gospel is proclaimed, as His people are baptized and as His Word is read. He serves us as His forgiveness is pronounced and penitents absolved. He serves us as He gives us His body and blood under the Bread and wine to eat and to drink. These gifts are how our Lord gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation.
Over the centuries, the church has recognized the vital role its worship plays in the formation of faith in the lives of God's people. Through
weekly repetition of basic, Gospel-centered texts from Holy Scripture, woven throughout the Divine Service, the people of God are schooled in the fundamental teachings of the Christian faith. This repetitive pattern or "liturgy", and hymns, serve as building blocks for a lifetime of receiving God's gifts through Word and Sacrament. (Learn more by listening to Pastor Meyer's sermon on Hebrews 10, "God's Service" >>)
Inextricably joined to this concept of the liturgy as a teacher of the faith is the discipline of the lectionary. This is a set series of Biblical texts which covers key passages as it moves systematically through the entire Bible, in a one-year or three-year period, and is then repeated again. Passages from each: the Old Testament, the New Testament Gospels, and the New Testament Letters (Epistles) make up the typical lectionary reading for each Sunday, and will be the main source from which the pastor will preach the sermon.
Through the use of the lectionary, each year the Church enters into the story of Christ and His work of salvation, beginning with the anticipation of His coming (Advent) and proceeding through His ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost). Here again the worshiper is schooled in the fundamentals of the faith by being linked to the life and work of Jesus.
* "Children in the Divine Service" adapted from Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran church, Hartland, MI
Jesus Washing The Feet Of His Disciples, painting by Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt, 21 July 1854 – 18 August 1905
8:00 AM DIVINE SERVICE
(Holy Communion 2nd & 4th Sundays)
9:30 AM ADULT BIBLE STUDY/SUNDAY SCHOO
9:15 AM & HOSPITALITY REFRESHMENTS
10:30 AM DIVINE SERVICE
(Holy Communion 1st & 3rd Sundays)
15370 MEREDITH STATE RD, SUNBURY, OH 43074
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