When do you meet for worship?
Worship services are held year-round at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings. In addition, there are many special services throughout the year - you can find upcoming services on our Calvary Events page.
Bible classes and Sunday School are held at 10:45 am (following worship services, September - May). You may even have time to grab a doughnut hole and cup of coffee!
What is worship like at Calvary?
Every church has its own worship style. We think you'll enjoy the services at Calvary, but as in any church, it may take a couple of Sundays to get accustomed to our way of praising God and receiving God's gifts.
An usher will hand you a bulletin on your way into the sanctuary. Feel free to sit wherever you'd like. The bulletin will outline the service for you: hymn numbers, page numbers for Psalms/prayers and the Scripture readings for the day.
Our worship services focus on readings from God's Word - the Bible. In the Bible, we hear God talk to us. Music and singing are also important parts of our worship. Calvary is blessed with a beautiful organ; most Sundays the organ provides accompaniment to our hymns and songs of praise. Feel free to join in if you feel comfortable!
We usually follow a variety of liturgies (set ways of conducting worship) and they may have the following parts:
- The Invocation: We call on the name of the Lord as we praise Him with song.
- Confession of Sins and Absolution: We admit that we are sinful and have failed to do what God requires of us; then we are reassured of forgiveness in Jesus.
- Bible Readings: You may follow along in a Bible (found in the pew) or on the back of the bulletin. We hear selections from the Old Testament prophets, Jesus' apostles and Jesus himself. Our pastor also gives a brief explanation of each reading.
- Sermon: Our pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Bible-based sermon for all ages. You can expect God's guidance and grace for dealing with life's problems, as well as the promise of eternal life in heaven through our Savior Jesus Christ.
- Response to the Word: We respond with offerings and prayers for God's blessings; we ask for strength to do what he asks.
- Blessing: Before we depart, we hear one more assurance of the Lord's gracious care.
During some services, members partake of the Lord's Supper. Calvary (and all congregations of the WELS) practice "closed communion". For an explanation of this practice, please contact Pastor Herrmann.
What should I wear?
You might wonder how to dress at a new church. Since the Bible presents no dress code, Calvary doesn't make any rules either (except for simple decency and Christian humility).
Our members try to make their worship time special and this is often reflected in the way they dress. Still, dress is a personal matter. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious God accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for Jesus.
On any Sunday, you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, flannel shirts and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his/her Lord, the choice of dress (be it casual or formal) is acceptable to God and us.
What about the offering?
Like most Christians, our members bring offerings to God through Calvary. 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 and use offering envelopes to keep our gifts a private matter known only to the Lord. A child may bring quarters or dimes. Someone older may write a check or throw in a couple paper bills.
As our guest, we do not expect you to contribute an offering nor do we want to pressure you into contributing. You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through Calvary, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.
Do I have to stand up and introduce myself?
We can assure you that we won't embarrass you in this or any other way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can so you can learn about your Savior.
Can I bring my children to worship services?
Yes! Our congregation is much like a family with infants, kids, teens, adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. However, we do have a small room outside the sanctuary if you feel that your child is becoming a distraction to others. There is a diaper-changing station, restrooms and a TV and speakers so you can hear, see and participate in the worship service.
What if I don't know much about the Bible?
Worship and Bible classes are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and our faith in Jesus. We've never found someone who has the entire Bible memorized - not even Pastor!
How can I become a member of Calvary?
Start worshiping with us! If you desire to learn more about the Bible and Calvary's teachings, talk to Pastor Herrmann about taking a Bible Information Class. He'll sit down with you and your family and go through the truths of God's Word.
What is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)?
Calvary is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Our church body started in Milwaukee, Wisc. in the 1850s...hence the name!
The word "Lutheran" comes from the great 16th-century reformer Martin Luther. At that time in history, the church had lost sight of its Savior and the truth of his Word. To restore that truth, the Lord used Martin Luther to boldly challenge the errors and preach Jesus Christ as Savior. For this reason, we are proud to remember his work by using his name to identify ourselves.
Our membership in the WELS unites us with like-minded Christians across the country and world. It allows us to jointly do work we cannot do on our own. We pool our resources for mission work at home and abroad, train young people to serve as pastors and teachers and publish resources such as hymnals and Bible studies. Above all, we find comfort in knowing there are Christians throughout the world who share our common faith.
Our congregation and church body are solidly based on the Bible. We believe that Jesus is our only Savior and way to heaven. Through faith we are united to Him and to each other.
Are there more opportunities in the area for Lutheran education?
Calvary operates a Christian preschool and kindergarten (licensed by the State of Washington). The nearest WELS grade school is Holy Trinity in Des Moines and the closest area Lutheran high school is Evergreen Lutheran High School in Tacoma.