What is a Lutheran church?
Martin Luther was a Catholic monk in the 1500s. In October 1517, he formally challenged the false teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church when he published his “95 Theses.” Those “95 Theses” emphasize the Gospel truth that we are all sinners who are saved entirely by the grace of God and not because we have earned it or deserved it in any way. The Lutheran church is founded on this saving truth.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
What is the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod?
Gethsemane Lutheran Church is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). To learn more about the WELS please click here.
What does your church service look like?
Gethsemane is a liturgical church. This means that we follow an “order of service” that includes confession, absolution (forgiveness of sins), readings from the Bible, a sermon, and prayers. Our worship also includes singing hymns and psalms. While the order of service each week may vary and while the type of music used to proclaim the Gospel message may vary, this basic outline of a service is followed.
You are encouraged to watch one of our previously recorded services here. These videos will allow you to see what one of our services looks like.
Do I need to dress up for church?
At Gethsemane we want you to be comfortable for worship. You may choose to wear dress clothes or come in casual attire. Our church sanctuary is a place of worship and we want to show glory to God at this place. We ask that modesty be considered and any offensive graphics or attire be avoided.
Do I need to give an offering?
Members at Gethsemane are encouraged to return thanks to our gracious God by giving regular and generous offerings during worship services. These offerings support the ministries at our church.
Guests are not required to give an offering. If you desire to give an offering, you may place a cash or check offering in the offering plates during the service or give it to one of the ushers.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
Can I participate in Holy Communion?
Gethsemane practices Close or Closed Communion. Close(d) Communion is a practice that only allows church members (or members of our synod churches) to participate in communion during worship.
This practice seeks to ensure that those receiving the Sacrament do so to their benefit and not to their harm (1 Corinthians 11:27-29), and that the unity and fellowship that is expressed in receiving the Sacrament is genuine and not contrived (1 Corinthians 10:17).
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (NIV)
“Because there is one load, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.” – 1 Corinthians 10:17 (NIV)
We view church membership as a way in which Christians acknowledge Jesus before others and publicly indicate their unity in faith and doctrine with fellow believers.
As a guest, if you have any questions about this practice or want to receive communion, we ask that you speak with one of our pastors prior to the service.
How do I become a member at Gethsemane?
If you’re interested in becoming a member of our church, the first step is to contact us or speak with one of our pastors. Our pastors will explain the steps we take to ensure each of our members understands the teachings of our church and the expectations of membership.