Worship Gatherings for Divine Service
Sundays are a primary time when we are connected to God and one another, equipped by His gifts, and then sent out to reach the world with His grace. The Greek word often used for "church" is ekklēsia, which literally means "assembly". Local churches are often called "congregations", because that's really the primary activity: to congregate, to assemble, to gather.
So when thinking about worship at Concordia, you can expect to come to a place where our gatherings are focused primarily on God's gifts to us: His Word (the Bible) and the Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), and then also with the faith-filled response of God's people (singing, prayer, praise). This is what has been called for centuries Divine Service, where God - the Divine - serves us with His gifts, and then we serve Him in response with thanksgiving and praise.
9:00am Divine Service uses the traditional Lutheran liturgy and traditional hymns accompanied by piano or organ. It is a more formal order of service, and you will find the rich tradition of our Lutheran heritage. Our 11:00 gathering does this using a more recent order of service that is less formal, yet still generally follows a historic Christian order, with songs led by a a variety of instruments: voices, guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion, violin, and more. Though more informal, this service still puts a strong emphasis on receiving God's gifts of Word and Sacrament, and encourages people to respond in faith.
Being that we're in the Okanagan, overall our atmosphere is fairly relaxed. Some will wear suits or dresses on Sunday morning; some will wear slacks, jeans, (shorts when it's particularly hot out!), button-down shirts, t-shirts, etc. We seek to be respectful of those around us and to honour God with our dress, and yet the most important thing is not what we wear but that we come to receive God's good gifts and respond with thanksgiving. God's gifts don't depend on how nice of clothes we can afford or how well we sing; He serves us because He loves us. In turn, we offer our best to Him because He deserves it and has given us all we have.
Other Worship Gatherings
We come together at other times than Sunday mornings during the year as well. Most especially we gather on Wednesday evenings during the seasons of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) and Lent (the six weeks before Easter). During these times we use simpler orders of worship such as Evening Prayer, Vespers, or the Service of Prayer and Preaching. There are also songs accompanied by piano, organ, or guitar, and different styles of preaching and teaching.
"The 40": More on Sunday Mornings
We enjoy getting together before and after our worship gatherings, and there's a time of visiting and refreshments - we call it "Coffee-Fellowship" and it starts around 10am when the 9:00 gathering is finished. We also gather in smaller groups from 10:15-10:55am on Sunday mornings where we have age-appropriate classes. We believe worship is for all ages, and so we invite all to come to worship together, no matter what age you are. But we also know that it's valuable to have time for age-appropriate teaching and activities. So "The 40" (named because it's 40 minutes long) is a time when we have our Agape Kids children's ministry, youth classes, and adult Bible study. All are welcome to these groups.