Worshiping With Us
…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…
(I Peter 3:15)
“Oh Lord Jesus, my heart also follows You constantly: to church to hear Your Word; to the confession to receive Your consolation; to the Holy Supper to take the pledge of Your love; and in heaven to call on You.”
+ Blessed Valerius Herberger, ‘The Great Works of God III/IV’
Whether you are visiting the greater Bangor (Maine) area, looking for a new church home, or still just ‘searching’: all are welcome to come and join in the historic Divine Service with us, which commences at 10:00AM year-round following Bible Study at 9:00AM (September thru June); a time of refreshments and fellowship follows each service. The English-language liturgy setting used by our Missouri Synod congregation is an order of service handed down to us over through the many ages of the Church (and fully laid out in bulletins provided to everyone): the Word of God is read, liturgy is spoken (or sung) interchangeably between the Pastor and congregation which includes the Confession & Absolution, the singing of hymns (ancient, traditional, and modern), and the Law & Gospel of the Word is proclaimed by the Pastor in his sermon. [See how each part of the liturgy is drawn from Jesus and His promises of the Gospel in God’s Word.] [Read more here about the confessional Lutheran style of worship.]
Celebrating Holy Communion:
The Lord’s Supper (also known as “The Eucharist”, “the Sacrament of the Altar”, and “Holy Communion”) is celebrated at this congregation in the confession and glad confidence that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but His very body and blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another. Our Lord invites to His table those who trust His words, repent of all sin, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as He forgives and loves us, that they may show forth His death until He comes.
Those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily (meaning they come to the altar with unrepentant or malicious hearts, or not believing that the Sacrament is a true means of God’s grace through the atonement of our Saviour, Jesus Christ) do so to their great harm.
Because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Synod–Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive this sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor or an usher.
Hope Lutheran Church thanks you for respecting this practice. We would not want our visitors to violate their own consciences or the public confession of faith that is made through their home church membership. We would want, in obedience to God (Acts 2:42), that they first examine our teachings to determine if true fellowship exists between us. If you would like to know more about this practice of ‘close communion’ — a practice that has been part of the Church since its earliest days — we encourage you to read a short article about it at Pastoral Meanderings…
The sacrament of Holy Communion is one of two ‘means of grace’ instituted by Jesus Himself for the benefit of Christians: for the forgiveness of sins. Learn a bit more about this precious sacrament, which is the center of the Christian life…
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At Hope you will find a caring family of Christians at the feet of Christ happy to be joined by others who thirst and hunger for the satisfying Words of the Gospel:
We, who are cursed with sin, have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, not by temporal things like gold or silver but with His precious blood shed through His innocent suffering and death on the cross [1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:18-19]. And by His resurrection, Jesus has rescued all who believe in His atonement on the cross from sin, death, and the devil [Romans 6:4-5, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, Hebrews 2:14].
“But to explain all these single points separately belongs not to brief sermons for children, but rather to the ampler sermons that extend throughout the entire year, especially at those times which are appointed for the purpose of treating at length of each article-of the birth, sufferings, resurrection, ascension of Christ, etc.
Ay, the entire Gospel which we preach is based on this, that we properly understand this article as that upon which our salvation and all our happiness rest, and which is so rich and comprehensive that we never can learn it fully.”
+ Martin Luther, Large Catechism – ‘The Apostle’s Creed’ Article II: 32-33