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.
As of January 2023, we have combined our two gatherings into one time of Divine Service. We use a variety of expressions from both ancient and recent sources, with a variety of music and liturgical elements. Everything we do, though, is connected to historic Christian practice and is in line with our Lutheran doctrine and heritage.
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.
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 11:30am when our 10:30 worship gathering is finished.
We also gather for Bible study on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. In general, Pastor Michael leads through a study on the Bible readings for the day, though occasionally we will work through a different topic.