What To Expect

  What To Expect  
Last updated on September 21, 2019 at 10:35:57 PM
"What should I expect at Berea?"
    Welcome!
  • Expect to be welcomed by ordinary people gathered to hear the extra-ordinary Good News that Jesus Christ saves sinners like us.  That good news gives us joy, frees us from self-righteousness, and begs to be shared!
    Authentic Christian Teaching
  • Expect us to teach the historic Christian faith, with a Lutheran emphasis on God's grace, as drawn from the Bible.  The three-in-one God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - created us to be in fellowship with Him and at peace with all creation, but we are hopelessly fallen into self-centered sinfulness, spiritual helplessness, and death. Yet, because God still loves us, He undertook history's most astonishing rescue: God the Son took on our humanity in Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay the penalty for our guilt, rose from the dead, and now freely grants us full pardon, meaning, earthly community, and eternal life with Him and all believers! Through baptism, Holy Communion, and His Word, he gives us faith and leads us into acts of mercy.  (See more here.)
    Word-Focused Worship
  • Expect a non-pretentious, midde-of-the-road worship service that focuses on God and his Word - not showmanship.  We have Bible readings, sermons based on Biblical texts, prayer, confession and absolution, an offering, and plenty of music. Being one with the Church through the ages, we use elements of the historic Christian liturgy - but not a lot of formallity.  Many services feature traditional hymns with organ and/or piano; some feature contemporary-style praise songs with piano, guitar, and drums; some have special choral and instrumental music. Services range from 45 to 65 minutes.  (See the schedule, service recordings, and sermons.)
    Holy Communion
  • Expect to receive the real body and blood of Jesus - in, with, and under the bread and wine - and forgiveness of sins.  Communion is reverent but relaxed, directed by the ushers in "continuous" fashion with the blessing at the end. Children who have not been confirmed are welcome at the altar for a blessing - just have them keep their hands down during distribution. While there is no question of being "good enough" to communue, God warns us that taking this gift without faith in Christ, acknowledgement of sin, and recognition of Christ's bodily presence brings harm (1 Cor. 11:27-30); and so we ask, if you are not a Missouri Synod member, but believe as we do and wish to commune, please speak with the pastor ahead of time.
    Love of Little Ones
  • Expect us to welcome your children in the worship service - they need God's Word too, and we don't mind a little commotion. (Luke 18:15-17)  We have children's sermons for those in sixth grade and under - bring them up and sit with them if they're timid.  The usher has activity sheets and "busy bags".  You can use the nursery (by the coat racks), or sit in the Fireside Room, and still hear the service. Bring your kids to Sunday School if they're willing, or bring them with you to adult Bible Study if they're not.
    Practical Matters
  • Expect NOT to get lost - it isn't that big a place.  There's a parking lot (on Emerson Avenue) with some spots just for you.  The greeters just inside the doors will be happy to direct you and answer your questions.  Coffee and tea is available in the Fireside Room.  There's no dress code - you'll see everything from suits to blue jeans.  All our Sunday classes are open to visitors.  We have handicap parking spots, a wheel-chair ramp, automatic doors, an elevator, wheel-chair "bays" in the pews, and handicap-accessible rest rooms.
    Respect
  • Expect NOT to be put on the spot - we don't have altar calls, and visitors aren't spot-lighted, hit up for money, or pressured to sign up for something.  If you want to slip in late, sit in the back, and duck out early - well, we're just happy you're hearing God's Word.  But if you give us a chance, it IS pretty likely people will introduce themselves, ask you about yourself, and invite you to participate more.
"How Do I Get Involved?"
    Become a Member
  • Members share our beliefs, worship together regularly, and participate in our mission with their time, talent, and treasure.  The exact route to membership depends on where you're coming from, so set up a time to talk to the pastor, and he'll explain the details.  Of course, you can hang out with us and Jesus as long as you want without joining.
Hope to see you around!