What is worship like?
At Gethsemane we plan our worship around a biblical theme for the day. The songs we sing and the portions of the Bible that we read are selected to reinforce that theme. We have opportunity to listen to God speaking to us, and we have the opportunity to praise him, pray to him, and sing to him in return.
God is a majestic and transcendent God. In our worship service we want to approach him in reverence, awe and humility--but at the same time with joy and celebration. Our service is carefully planned, so you'll know what's coming next.
What is the sermon going to be like?
God's word has relevant and personal things to say to people in the 21st century. More than anything, we hope that the sermon relates God's timeless truths to the challenges you're confronting in your life today. We hope that the sermon reinforces things you already knew, teaches you something you didn't know, challenges you in your walk with Jesus, and leaves you with the peace and assurance of God's embracing love and complete forgiveness in Christ.
How long is the worship service?
A typical worship service lasts about an hour.
Are you going to call attention to me as a visitor?
Not at all! We want you to feel welcome--and we hope you're warmly greeted by other Gethsemane worshipers--but we won't single you out or put you on the spot. You won't be asked to stand up and introduce yourself. There won't be a quiz later on the names of people you met. You can worship as anonymously as you choose. We're just very glad when you can join us to praise God along with us!
How much is it going to cost me?
Ah, that's an important question! We gather an offering of thanks during the service--usually after the sermon. We collect an offering, because it gives our worshipers another chance to praise God with their gift. The offering is completely voluntary--you don't have to participate at all, if you don't care to. When the plate comes by, you may simply pass it along. Nobody will think badly of you or look at you funny if you do so. Quite frankly, our goal is to give something to you, not to take something away from you.
What does it mean to be a "member"?
Membership in Jesus' church isn't like a membership at a club or a membership at Sam's. There is no application to fill out, and there are no annual dues to pay. However, that doesn't mean there are no requirements for membership. Infants and children become members of the congregation when they are baptized. This means that the congregation and the pastor assume responsibility for their spiritual care. As Christians grow and mature in our faith, we reach the point where we are ready to receive Holy Communion. Youth and adults become communicant members after they have completed a course of instruction in the basic teachings of the Bible (catechism instruction or adult membership class). Once instructed, they are able to declare publicly that they are in complete agreement with God's word, and they are ready to receive the Sacrament. All Christians desire to be part of a fellowship of believers and receive the gifts that God has given to his church.
Do I have to be a member to attend worship or other events?
We welcome everyone to worship, to activities, to game nights, to outings. Come as you are! You'll find a welcoming group of friendly people. Baptism is for everyone who desires it, and the pastor will be happy to speak with you about baptism for you and your children (if you haven't been baptized already). Since Holy Communion requires some important knowledge of the Bible, we respectfully ask that people receive Communion only after they have been instructed and declare their agreement with our church's teachings.
How can I become a member of Gethsemane?
Start worshiping with us! Find out the wonderful things God has to say to your heart. That's the first step. The pastor regularly offers membership classes. The course takes about 10 weeks to complete. You'll enjoy a lively discussion about basic teachings of the Bible applied to real life today. Feeling a bit apprehensive? Don't worry--we're all there to learn, and the pastor will do everything he can to help you feel comfortable. You just might find some solid friends for life!