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Below are some common questions and answers you may have about our church. If you have any that are not mentioned here, please Contact us directly. You are quite welcome to call, visit, or to request a visit from our pastor.
Do we welcome guests from other Christian backgrounds?
Absolutely. Anyone who believes in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that Jesus Christ is God's Son; and that He died and rose to save us from our sins, is a Christian. Every Christian is saved by faith alone, though many Christians and Christian churches also believe things contrary to the Bible. We rejoice to share God's Word with our fellow Christians, while we also wish to reach complete fellowship in the Bible's teachings before we express our unity in holy communion.
Do we welcome guests without a Christian background?
Most definitely. We are happy to say that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the whole world, even those who haven't known about Him, or who have opposed Him. By God's plan, He has made atonement for every sin, so that everyone who hears the message of our Gospel may be certain of God's love and eternal life.
What parts of our worship service are open for guests to participate?
We welcome and encourage guest participation in speaking or singing with the congregation in all parts of the day's liturgy, in singing all our hymns, and in listening to the Bible readings and sermon. Guests are not asked to donate anything in the offering, though they may. Guests are asked to refrain from communing in the Lord's Supper until they have been personally invited by the pastor. Guests from churches of our fellowship (WELS/ELS in the US) should announce their intent to commune before the service begins.
Do we have a nursery?
Bethany in The Dalles has one to the rear of the sanctuary, with the door opposite the restrooms. It is equipped with sound from the pastor's microphone, and has a window so that those within can keep up with the service. There is also a changing table in the nursery. We are happy to have children in our services, but if your child becomes upset, you may wish to use the nursery for a little while. Otherwise, consider sitting in the very front seats, so that your child can more fully participate in the actions of the service.
When does Sunday School meet?
Sunday School meets at Bethany starting after Labor Day, at 9:30 AM sharp, in the sanctuary. After an opening devotion, each class will proceed with a teacher to its own classroom. Concordia's Sunday School meets after the service, only as required.
What kind of worship service do we use?
A service ordered by what we call a "liturgy." This is a customary format with variations for each individual Sunday.
What makes our service enjoyable and meaningful for the worshippers?
We reliably receive the forgiveness of sins, together with the much-needed joy and peace that this brings.
Why do we use an ordered or liturgical service?
So that we have the greatest possible benefits from our services every single time. It is always dignified, and helps us each to realize that something is happening greater than the eye can see.
How often does our service change? Is it always the same from week to week?
It changes weekly, yet the basic structure is almost always predictable. Every Sunday of the year is associated with its own parts of the service. For example: readings, hymns, some prayers, and the sermon are different every Sunday.
What benefit does an ordered or liturgical service offer to the worshippers?
It provides the full variety of biblical teachings, yet consistently imparts the spiritual gifts of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
What makes our church different from other local churches (LDS, 7th Day Adventist, Mainline, Fundamentalist, etc.)
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, from beginning to end, and we take it seriously. We believe that the ecumenical creeds express the truth taught in the Bible. We also confess our faith by subscribing unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions, and we put our faith into action as consistently as we may. We make use of many Church traditions, seeing no reason to change them unless they contradict the Bible or lead to sin. These things distinguish us from all of our neighbor congregations.
Is there any real difference between this church and other Lutheran churches?
Yes. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America does not consider the Bible to be the verbally-inspired Word of God, nor does it teach in agreement with the Lutheran Confessions. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is not consistent in these things, allowing many to teach openly against the Bible, without any disciplinary action. Sadly, the name "Lutheran" is no guarantee of faithfulness to Holy Scripture. We call ourselves "confessional Lutheran" because it describes our confession of faith, which we take seriously.