Can anyone visit Calvary?
Absolutely. Whether you are trying to figure out what faith means, just curious about God, hurting from some bad experiences with the church or well-established in your walk of faith, you are welcome to drop in for worship or just for a chat with our pastor or another member of our staff.
What time does worship begin?
Sunday morning worship is at 8:30am. Thursday evening worship is at 6:30pm.
What can I expect at worship?
Sunday worships use PPT, so that the entire worship is projected on a screen for your convenience.
Sunday morning is a “traditional” Lutheran worship. That means we use a worship book and a bulletin (like a program) with printed prayers, dialogues, and responses. Some parts of this worship are chanted – sung responsively between a worship leader and the worshipers. Worship songs, often called “hymns” at this worship, are a mix of long-standing songs from our Christian heritage and more recent songs from Christian musicians who are actually still alive and still writing and performing music. This worship feels somewhat “formal” – like going to an upscale restaurant. Not that we are being snooty, we simply take worship seriously and it shows.
Thursday evening worship is a “relaxed” Lutheran worship. That means worship books are optional. People use them when they want the notes to the music that we are singing. Responsive prayers are spoken and some recently written Christian songs are included as regular parts of the worship setting. Worship songs are the same as our Sunday worship songs – a mix of long-standing songs from our Christian heritage and more recent songs from Christian musicians who are actually still alive and still writing and performing music. This worship feels somewhat “informal” – like going to a Mom & Pop restaurant. Not that we are sloppy about it, we’re just a little more casual.
What should I wear to church?
You are welcome to wear the clothing that makes you comfortable. Some people dress up for worship, wearing nice dresses, skirts or suits, and even a tie – especially for holidays. Some people wear polo shirts and dress pants. Some people wear blue jeans and T-shirts. When the Wisconsin weather allows, some even wear shorts and sandals. The important thing is for you to come and encounter God and enjoy the company of other people.
Can I bring my children?
Certainly. Children of all ages are welcome in our worships. Sunday worship includes a “Children’s Sermon” which invites them to come forward for a brief teaching or story or prayer with one of the worship leaders. If something happens and you feel that you need to take your child out of worship (an infant who needs to be nursed or needs a diaper changed, a child who chooses to throw a tantrum when you least expect it, or something), we also have a Nursery available. The Nursery has a rocking chair, a variety of toys, and a sink with ample counter space for taking care of special needs. (A small supply of wipes and diapers is in a drawer near the sink, because we are all caught off-guard sometimes.) The worship is “piped” into the Nursery, so you can continue to listen to worship as you care for your children. Both our Men’s and Women’s restrooms also have changing tables.
Can I receive Communion?
All who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcome to receive Communion. Our wine tray includes both wine and grape juice, and we have gluten-free wafers available.
If you have not been baptized, if your children are young enough that you don’t feel they are ready to receive Communion, or if you are hesitant to receive Communion for personal reasons, you and/or your children may also come forward to receive a blessing. Simply keep your hands folded and the Pastor will offer a prayer blessing for you.
What does it take to become a member of Calvary?
An adult who has been baptized simply needs to state his/her faith in God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and to claim Jesus as Lord and Savior to become a member. An adult who has not been baptized makes that same statement of faith and expresses the desire to be baptized in the name of God. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism makes that adult a member of the church.
Children who are old enough to make decisions and statements of faith – like an adult – would follow the same process as adults. Young children who have been baptized are received into membership when their parent or parents become members. Young children who have not been baptized are received through the Sacrament of Baptism and their parent or parents make promises to raise those children in the Christian faith and as a member of the church.
And what is expected of me, if I become a member?
When you become a member, you make a commitment to live out your faith in your daily life, and all the members of Calvary make a commitment to support you in your life of faith. That is true for adults who become members and children, too. The Sacrament of Baptism and the ritual of Affirmation of Faith (described above as making a statement of faith) include promises from the members of Calvary to help you continue living and growing in your faith.
The specifics of what “a life of faith” looks like varies from person to person and it can take a lifetime to discern what that means for you. Becoming a member offers you many opportunities to learn and grow in your faith. In addition to regular opportunities for worship, being a member gives you:
- A community of people who care about you, support you when you are in need, and accompany you through all of life’s ways – like an extended loving family,
- Opportunities to pray with and for others and to be prayed for,
- Time to ask questions about faith, explore new ideas, respond to the challenges that life can throw at you, and grow in your relationship with God and with other people,
- Encouragement to examine your life, to discover your talents and gifts – God gives them to all people, and to develop and share those talents and gifts for the good of others,
- A chance to examine your values and how you are living out your values with your life-decisions,
- A way, or many ways, to serve others in our community, our country and our world,
- And, a place of joy … after all, we Christians have fun together and celebrate the power and presence of God in our lives.