Visitor's Guide

Answers To Common Questions About Attending Our Church



Dear Friends,

Contents:
Location and Map
Worship Times
Sunday Worship
Dress
Offerings
The Worst that can Happen
Our Church Body
To find out more
A final thought

It can be hard to go to a church for the first time. There are so many questions that aren’t answered in mailings and newspaper ads.

For example, "Will I know how to get into the building for the service, or will I pick the wrong door?" "What do I do with my children?" "What should I wear?" "What will the service be like?" Unknown factors like these can make church intimidating.

With this section we hope to answer some of the questions you might have about our church before you visit. We'd like to make your visit with us relaxed and enriching.

Please let us know if there are questions not answered by these pages. We want to add whatever will be helpful to you to this visitor's guide.

Our deepest wish is that when you visit St. Peter's, you will hear about your Savior, Jesus, and come to know the grace and love of God more and more.

Sincerely,

Pastor Darren Green


Location and Map


413 E 3rd St
Monticello, MN 55362
Phone: (763) 295-5315

Email: pastor@mywels.com


Worship Times

Sunday - 9:00 am
Monday - 7:00 pm - June 4 through Labor Day


Sunday Worship

Every church has its own style of worship. We think you’ll enjoy the services at St. Peter's  Lutheran Church, but as in any church you should expect it to take a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to our way of praising God together.

Each week the service is printed in the worship folder. All the prayers are printed there for you. You are welcome to bring along your own Bible and follow along there if you choose. The services focus on readings from the Bible. There we hear God talk to us. Music and singing are an important part of our services, too. Loud or soft, in monotone or rich harmony, all our praises are music to God. We rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." Psalm 122:1

The services usually include the following parts in a variety of forms:

  • The Invocation - We call on the name of our Savior God as we praise him.
  • Admitting sins and finding forgiveness - We acknowledge that we have not been or done what God asks. Then we are assured of forgiveness in Jesus.
  • Bible Readings - Selections from God’s Old Testament prophets, Jesus’ apostles, and from Jesus himself in the Gospels. The pastor also gives a brief explanation of each reading.
  • Sermon - Our pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Bible based sermon. Expect God’s guidance and grace for dealing with problems as well and the promise of eternal life in heaven through Jesus. Included in your worship folder will be an outline of the sermon with a place for you to take notes if you wish.
  • Response to the Word - We respond with offerings and prayers for the things he has promised to us and for strength to do what he has asked.
  • Parting blessing - We hear one last assurance of God’s care.

Mixed throughout these different parts of our service are hymns and short songs to praise God.

Our services use traditional forms and modern language and application. The traditional brings us the best from God’s Church throughout the ages and the contemporary brings God’s promises and his will into our daily lives. We hope you enjoy both.


Dress

Sometimes people wonder how they are expected to dress at a church they’ve never visited before.

Since the Bible presents no dress code, aside from simple decency and Christian humility, St. Peter's Lutheran Church doesn’t make any rules either.

Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress.

But dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One may dress casually and rejoice that we have a God who accepts us as we are. Another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King.

On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and high heels, jeans and suits, or open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress (casual or more formal) is acceptable to God . . . and us.


Offerings

"When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?" "Do they want visitors to contribute too?" These are typical worries about church offerings.

The Bible teaches that our offerings to God should reflect our belief that all we have is his gift to us. It teaches us that with our offerings we worship and honor God.

Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through their church. Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one dictates what each person is to give.

We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God. (Offering envelopes are available and keep our gifts a private matter known only to God who sees what we do in private.)

A child may bring the quarters and dimes his parents give him. Someone older may write a check. Both are remembering Jesus and giving their gift out of love for him.

You may wish at first to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church. But you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.


The Worst That Can Happen

Attending church somewhere for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:

"I would just die if they made me stand up and say something."  We assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel comfortable and at home with us. Church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.

"I know my child is going to be too noisy."  Feel free to take your child back to the nursery  anytime during the service.

"I know I will feel out of place."  We hope that this visitor's guide will ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I am new. What is this about?"

"I am afraid I will say or do something wrong."  All of us have felt this way when in a new situation. But we hope you see the people of St. Peter's to be ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that by a critical spirit.

"I just want to watch at first and I know that they will try to involve me or sign me up."  It is unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe that church membership should be a voluntary thing, and that the most important thing is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. It takes time for this to be cultivated. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement. We believe we should respect that need.

"I don’t know that much about the Bible." Church and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. And remember, sometimes the wisest words we say are, "I don’t know."


To Find Out More

If you would like to read more about our beliefs and practices, check out our denominational website www.wels.net.


About Our Church Body

St. Peter's is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). This church body got its name because it was formed in Wisconsin in the 1850's. Our membership in this Synod unites us with Christians across our country and the world. It allows us to pool our resources for mission work as well as for writing hymnals, Bible classes, and other materials. But above all, we can be comforted by the fact that we know there are Christians throughout the world who share a common faith with us.

Our congregation and Synod are solidly based in the Bible. We believe that Jesus is our Savior and the only way to heaven. Through faith in Jesus we are united to him and each other.

The name "Lutheran" comes from the great reformer Martin Luther. In a period in history when the Church had lost sight of its Savior and the truth of his Word, Martin Luther boldly challenged these errors and preached Jesus Christ as Savior. We are proud to remember his work in bringing to light the truth of God’s Word by using his name to identify ourselves.


A Final Thought

We pray that this has helped answer some of your questions and alleviate your fears. Our goals as a congregation are quite simple. We want to grow in faith and share that faith with people like you. Everything we do is meant to accomplish these two goals.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do for you.

God’s blessings to you, and we look forward to seeing you in church.