Frequently Asked QuestionsQ: How should I dress if I plan on attending service?
A: Our services are respectful but casual. We have no "dress code". God meets us where we are, and we do not need to "dress up" in order to come to his presence.
Q: What are services like?
A: We believe worship is an opportunity for people to enter the presence of God. We do not believe that God is pleased with words repeated from memory, like parts in a play. For this reason, "liturgy" is kept to a minimum. Our usual order of service consists of an opening hymn, prayer, a time to praise God for the blessings of the week, the singing of 3 or 4 praise choruses, occasionally an anthem, the Scripture reading and sermon, the offering and a closing hymn. The last Sunday of each month we take up a seperate collection for Mission work of the church.
Q: Do I need to bring anything with me if I plan on attending?
A: Nothing is required except a desire to worship God. Most worshippers also bring a Bible.
Q: Who can receive communion?
A: Our communion is offered to all who serve The Lord Jesus Christ and believe he was bodily resurrected from the dead.
Q: How is communion practiced in New Hope?
A: Communion is distributed in the pew. We use grape juice, not wine, and pieces of bread, not wafers.
Q: How often is communion practiced?
A: We celebrate communion, on average, about 10 times a year, mostly in connection with special occasions such as Christmas and Resurrection Day.
Q: How do you view communion?
A: We believe that in communion we are offered the body and blood of Jesus Christ. As the apostle Paul says, every time we receive communion we "proclaim the death of Jesus until he comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). Jesus' death was an offering of his own body and blood - the true Passover Lamb, who, in the words of John the Baptist, is "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Q: How should one prepare for communion?
A: We prepare for communion as we prepare for worship - by being aware of our need for God, by admitting we need the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ, and by taking seriously the call of discipleship and the claim He has on our lives. Do I realize how unworthy I am of the love and forgiveness of God? Do I want to live better for him? Then I am "prepared" for communion and as "worthy" as a person can be to receive communion, as Martin Luther says in his Small Catechism - "He is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words, 'Given and shed for you for the remission of sins".
Q: How do I become a member of New Hope?
A: New Hope recognizes three types of membership:
Baptized members - any baptized child who attends worship is regarded as a "baptized child of the congregation". If this status does not change, when the child turns 18, he or she is then considered a "Parishioner".
Parishioner - Any adult who worships with us is considered a "member" of New Hope in the sense that all of our pastoral services are offered to you the same as to any other member. This category is intended especially for those who are searching a church, or examining the teachings of Jesus Christ before fully committing to them, at which time you would become a "Confessing Member".
Confessing Member - If after worshipping with us for a time, you decide you want to embrace the teaching of Jesus Christ and become a disciple of his, or if you already are a Christian and want to publicly declare your faith and become more involved in the life of your church, you may request to become a Confessing Member. Usually this is preceded by a time of instruction on our Statement of Faith ( or Luther's Small Catechism). Voting rights and leadership positions in the church are reserved for Confessing Members.
Q: When do you have worship?
A: We gather for Sunday worship at 9 AM, with Sunday School following worship during the school year. Although our summer schedule is lighter, during the rest of the year we also offer weekly Bible Study Wednesdays at 10 AM and Prayer Service Wednesday evenings at 7(but please be sure to check the calendar on this website for special events or changes in this schedule.
Q: Are there other Lutheran Brethren Church in this area?
A: At present, there are only two other Lutheran Bretren Churches in Pennsylvania - one in McAllisterville west of Selinsgrove on Rt. 35, and one outside Mt. Bethel in the Poconos.
Q: Why are you called "Lutheran Brethren"?
A: We are called Lutheran because we agree with Martin Luther that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and that our beliefs and lifestyle must in the end conform to scripture alone. We are called Brethren because we believe all disciples of Christ are brothers and sisters, that only those who try to live by Jesus' teachings should be called Christians, and that before God there is no distinction between clergy (ordained ministers) and laity (non-ordained Christians).
Q: Do you offer Confirmation Classes?
A: Our Confirmation program involves two years of instruction based on Luther's Small Catechism. It is generally offered to 7th and 8th graders. Upon completion of confirmation the students are recognized in a "Confirmation Service" and are regarded as now knowing the basic teachings of the church. Because Faith involves more than simple knowledge, the confirmed person remains a baptized member of the church utnil, by his or her own initiative, he or she becomes a Confessing Member of the church. If this occurs shortly after Confirmation, generally no further instruction is required.
Q: How do you view faith?
A: We believe faith involves three main components-
Knowledge - This is the first building block of faith. We believe the true power of faith is in its object, not in the strength of the person's conviction. In other words, it is not faith that saves us, but what we believe in. "Knowledge" refers to the things we believe. False teachings weaken our faith but the truth is capable of setting us free (John 8:31-34).
Consent - Truth is of little benefit to us if we do not act upon it. Knowledge says "I know what this truth is claiming". Consent says "I agree that these things are true".
Conviction - Conviction is the switch that turns on the power of faith in our lives. It is not the power that comes from what we believe, but it makes us accessible to that power. While knowledge says "I know what this truth is claiming" and consent says "I agree that these things are true", convictions adds - "I believe these things are important enough to let them change the way I think and live." As we allow God this opportunity to change us by his truth, only then do we experience the benefits of faith.
|New Hope Lutheran Brethren Church, 2007|