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A Congregation of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod ~ An LCMS Church 

© 2019 St. Paul's Lutheran Church Long Beach

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WORD ALONE.  FAITH ALONE.  GRACE ALONE.

DIVINE SERVICE

Our Lord is the Lord who serves. By his perfect life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, Jesus accomplished our salvation through his acts of service. Now seated at the Father’s right hand, he continues to serve his Church with his gifts. When we gather together for worship, therefore, we come to receive forgiveness, life, and the strengthening of our faith through his Word and Sacraments. In turn, the Lord’s service calls forth our service—both in thanks and praise to him and in deeds of love and mercy for one another.

 

For this reason, worship at Saint Paul’s is traditional, reverent, and Christ-centered.

 

Traditional. In our world of constant change, we recognize the importance of having a formal liturgy that is planned and deliberate instead of spontaneous or unpredictable. Rather than following cultural fads or marketing strategies, we retain the tried and true forms of worship that have served the Church well for centuries. This is not a matter of resisting change or following tradition for the sake of tradition, but of appreciating the beautiful Gospel focus of the historical liturgy.

 

Reverent. Our worship is not about pomp and circumstance, nor is it about entertainment and “felt needs.” Rather our words and actions during the service are driven by the conviction that the risen Christ himself is present in our midst by the power of his Word. We confess our sins, receive God’s forgiveness, hear the Scriptures, and receive the Lord’s Supper. Since these are matters of life and death—matters of eternal consequence—we worship in a manner that is respectful, joyful, and grateful as we come before Christ our King.

 

Christ-centered. At Saint Paul’s everything we do in worship is firmly centered on the person and work of Jesus Christ. From our opening hymn to the pastor’s sermon, to our prayers, to celebrating Communion, to the blessing at the close of the service our focus is on God’s love and grace for us in Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2). In short, through God’s Word and Sacraments our worship service is all about Jesus—specifically, Jesus for you.

HOLY COMMUNION

We receive the Lord’s Supper every Sunday at Saint Paul’s. It is often called Communion because of the “common union” one has with the Lord and with others through this sacred meal. To have union with Christ is to believe in him, to be baptized in his name, and to live a repentant life. To have union with others is to share the same doctrine, as well as to forgive one another as we have been forgiven. Part of sharing the same doctrine means believing, as we do, that Jesus is really and truly present in the Supper to forgive our sins.

 

For these reasons we practice “closed communion,” which means we do not commune those we do not know or those whose beliefs differ from ours. We understand that this feels wrong to many Christians and can seem unwelcoming or unloving. But we believe the Lord’s Supper is a matter of truth and unity, as taught in the Scriptures, and not simply a matter of hospitality. Our love, both for God’s Word and for God’s people, compels us to treat this matter seriously (1 Corinthians 1:10; 10:14-22; 11:17-34).

 

That said, we certainly do not judge or condemn those who have a different understanding than we do, and we are happy to have anyone join us for worship. Guests are asked to speak with the pastor or an elder before the service to introduce themselves and to announce their intentions to come to the Lord’s Supper. A blessing is offered to non-communicants who come to the altar with their arms folded.

 

If you have any questions or concerns about our worship practices, feel free to contact us at info@stpaulslb.org and we will do our best to answer your questions.

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

SUNDAY DIVINE SERVICE at 9:30 a.m.

BIBLE STUDY & SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sundays at 11:15 a.m.


PRESCHOOL CHAPEL SERVICES
Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m.