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Visitor Guide
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Worship

Who may attend worship services?
You may! Our worship services are open to all because the message of the Bible is for everyone. You'll find a group of caring Christians who are ready to share the love of their Savior with you. 


What is worship like?
At Holy Trinity we plan our worship around a Biblical theme for the day. The songs we sing (mostly hymns) and the portions of the Bible that we read are selected to reinforce that theme. Our worship is liturgical: meaning we follow a pattern of worship which gives us opportunity to listen as God speaks to us in his Word. It also allows the people to participate in response: bringing our praise, prayer and proclamation. 

Holy Trinity has a 22-rank pipe organ that often leads our worship. We also use the piano and other instruments to accompany. Our choir sings often in worship and is open to all members who want to raise their voices in song to the Lord. 


God is a majestic and transcendent God. In our worship service we want to approach him in reverence, awe and humility--but at the same time with joy and celebration. Our service is carefully planned, and it's printed out, so you'll know what's coming next.

What is the sermon going to be like?
God's word has relevant and personal things to say to people in the 21st century. Through his Word, God delivers a clear message that our sin is the root of all problems in this world, including death. But in his love, God has provided an answer to sin and death through his Son, Jesus Christ. Our sermon messages will proclaim the Law, which convicts us all of sin, and the Gospel, which heals our troubled and guilty hearts. Assured of God's love, we are motivated to live as Christian people in the world! 


How long is the worship service?
A typical worship service lasts about an hour.


Are you going to call attention to me as a visitor?
Not at all! We want you to feel welcome--and we hope you're warmly greeted by other Holy Trinity worshipers--but we won't single you out or put you on the spot. You won't be asked to stand up and introduce yourself. There won't be a quiz later on the names of people you met. You can worship as anonymously as you choose. We're just very glad when you can join us to praise God along with us!


How much is it going to cost me?
We do gather an offering of thanks during the service--usually after the sermon. We collect an offering, because it gives our worshipers another chance to praise God with their gift. The offering is completely voluntary--you don't have to participate at all, if you don't care to. When the plate comes by, you may simply pass it along. Nobody will think badly of you or look at you funny if you do so. Quite frankly, our goal is to give something to you, not to take something away from you.


Membership

What does it mean to be a "member"?
Membership in Jesus' church isn't like a membership at a club or a membership at Costco. There is no application to fill out, and there are no annual dues to pay. However, that doesn't mean there are no requirements for membership. Infants and children become members of the congregation when they are baptized. This means that the congregation and the pastor assume responsibility for their spiritual care. As Christians grow and mature in our faith, we reach the point where we are ready to receive Holy Communion. Youth and adults become communicant members after they have completed a course of instruction in the basic teachings of the Bible (catechism instruction or adult membership class). Once instructed, they are able to declare publicly that they are in complete agreement with God's word, and they are ready to receive the Sacrament. All Christians desire to be part of a fellowship of believers and receive the gifts that God has given to his church.


Do I have to be a member to attend worship or other events?
We welcome everyone to worship and to all of our activities. You'll find a welcoming group of friendly people. Baptism is for everyone who desires it, and the pastor will be happy to speak with you about baptism for you and your children (if you haven't been baptized already). Since the Bible tells us that Holy Communion can actually be taken to a person's judgment, we are careful to whom we give the Lord's Supper. Since communion brings people together intimately, we ask that you first study God's Word with us before we commune together. 

How can I become a member of Holy Trinity?
Start worshiping with us! Find out the wonderful things God has to say to your heart. That's the first step. Two to three times a year the pastor offers membership classes. The series, 9-10 weeks to complete. You'll enjoy a lively discussion with other participants about basic teachings of the Bible applied to real life today. Feeling a bit apprehensive? Don't worry--we're all there to learn, and the pastor will do everything he can to help you feel comfortable. You just might find some solid friends for life! New-member classes usually start in January and September.


I've moved here from another church in the WELS. How do I transfer my membership to Holy Trinity?
If you've already been instructed and confirmed in a sister congregation in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, you don't need to take the membership class all over. (On the other hand . . . if it's been a while, you might find that our membership course is a refreshing review for you and a huge faith-building experience!) To transfer, simply contact your pastor (e-mail or a letter is best, but phone works just as well) and ask that your membership be transferred to Holy Trinity in Des Moines, Washington. At the same time, please mention to your new pastor here at Holy Trinity that you've made the request, and he'll make arrangements to meet with you and help get you settled into your new church home.