Worship

We gather together to receive our Lord's blessings in Word and Sacrament each and every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. We are a liturgical congregation, use Lutheran Service Book , love to sing, and strive to treat God's house with reverence and respect. "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (Genesis 28:17). Our adult choir and numerous soloists frequently add their musical talents to our worship services.

Please select the following links to learn more about Lutheran worship:

  • the Divine Service (coming soon)
  • the Lord's Day (coming soon)
  • the Liturgical Calendar (coming soon)
  • the Lord's House (coming soon)

In addition to our regular Sunday morning worship services, we invite you to join us for the following special services:

  • Advent Midweek (Evening Prayer)
  • The Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Eve (candlelight Lessons & Carols)
  • The Nativity of Our Lord:┬áChristmas Day (festive Divine Service)
  • The Epiphany of Our Lord (festive Divine Service)
  • Ash Wednesday (Solemn Divine Service with the imposition of ashes)
  • Lent Midweek (Evening Prayer)
  • Holy Monday-Wednesday (prayer services)
  • Maundy Thursday (solemn Divine Service with stripping of the altar)
  • Good Friday (solemn Tenebrae Service)
  • Holy Saturday (candlelight Easter Vigil)
  • The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Sunrise (festive Easter Matins)
  • The Ascension of Our Lord (festive Divine Service)
  • Thanksgiving Eve (Vespers)

Holy Baptism

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is how God, through His Church, makes disciples of all nations. Our Lord Jesus instituted this sacrament before His ascension to the Father's right hand. Christian baptism involves the application of water "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19-20). As sinners we need baptism and the precious gifts God gives in this life-giving sacrament, for "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). This precious sacrament is for infants, children, and adults (Acts 2:39) and comes with Jesus' promise: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" (Matthew 16:16).

The gifts God gives in Holy Baptism include the forgiveness of sins, adoption by the Father, the righteousness of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). "In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27). "Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-4).

If you or a loved one would like more information about receiving the life-giving Sacrament of Holy Baptism here at Divine Shepherd, please speak with our pastor.

Select one or more of the following links to learn more about the Sacrament of Holy Baptism:

Holy Absolution

Holy Absolution is one of the ways God forgives the sins of His people. Through this precious sacrament He also creates a pure heart, renews a right spirit, and gives a clean conscience. Absolution is God's answer to our confession of sin. "David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the LORD.' And Nathan said to David, 'The LORD also has put away your sin'" (2 Samuel 12:13). Confession and absolution is a daily part of the Christian life. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:8-9). See also Psalm 32:5; 51:1-4; Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 18:18; John 20:22-23.

Public absolution takes place at the beginning of each Divine Service. A general confession of sin, coupled with a time of silence for specific sins, allows those present in the Divine Service to confess their sinfulness and then hear the comforting words of Christ's forgiveness.

Private absolution takes place between an individual and the pastor. Private confession allows the penitent to confess specific sins that are troubling him and then hear the comforting words of Christ's forgiveness individually applied to his need. Private absolution is available by appointment with our pastor. All confessions are kept in strictest confidence.

Select one or more of the following links to learn more about Confession and Absolution:

Preaching

Preaching is another way God forgives the sins of His people. Preaching is the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of sinners. Like the Apostle Paul, "we preach Christ crucified" (1 Corinthians 1:23) as we "preach the Word" (2 Timothy 4:2).

The proclamation of God's Word is essential for many reasons. Preaching creates and strengthens faith in Jesus Christ. "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Preaching helps us understand and apply God's Word to our daily life. "Do you understand what you are reading? ... How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8:30-31). Preaching increases wisdom and piety among God's people. "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16). "From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).

Here at Divine Shepherd members and visitors alike will hear sermons that are Bible-based, Christ-centered, Law-Gospel oriented, relevant, understandable, and applicable to your life of faith.

Select one or more of the following links to learn more about God's Word, the Gospel, and the Office of the Ministry:

Holy Communion

The Sacrament of the Altar is yet another way God forgives the sins of His people. In this sacrament our Lord Jesus Christ gives us His true body and blood in, with, and under bread and wine. The words of Christ instituting this sacrament are recorded in Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, and 1 Corinthians 11:23-25. Other names for this sacrament include Holy Communion (1 Corinthians 10:16), the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 10:21), the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20), and the breaking of the bread (Acts 2:42).

This sacrament is medicine against our sinful flesh, the sin and trouble of this world, and the temptations of the devil. Through the reception of Christ's body and blood we learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for our sins, and also learn from Him to love God and our neighbor.

Because faith in Christ and His words concerning the Supper are necessary to receive the Sacrament's benefits, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to examine themselves before they partake of this sacrament (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). This involves recognizing one's sinfulness, believing in Christ and what He offers in this Sacrament, and desiring with the Spirit's help to amend one's sinful life. Click here for a helpful set of Christian questions with their answers, written by Martin Luther, to assist Christians in examining themselves.

The word communion comes from two smaller words: common + union. The common union shared by partakers of this Sacrament is twofold. We are united by faith with Jesus Christ and we are united in confession with each other. Because Holy Scripture calls us "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3) and to "watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them" (Romans 16:17), we practice Closed Communion. This means Divine Shepherd communes only those...

  1. who have been baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
  2. who confess faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior;
  3. who believe that Christ's body and blood are truly present in this Sacrament;
  4. who are penitent sinners; and
  5. who agree with all that we believe, teach, and confess here at Divine Shepherd.

The Lord's Supper, in which we partake of Christ's true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins and the strengthening of faith, is joyously celebrated every Sunday and on certain Christian feasts and festivals. All who are confirmed members of the LCMS and not under church discipline are welcome to commune at our altar.

Select one or more of the following links to learn more about the Sacrament of the Altar:

Visitations

Our pastor visits those members of our congregation who are hospitalized and/or homebound. This visitation includes Scripture readings, prayers, and the Lord's Supper.

Funerals

The Christian funeral centers on the proclamation of Jesus Christ and the victory that is ours in Him! Those who were faithful members here at Divine Shepherd at the time of death may receive a Christian funeral in our church.

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