Are You a First Time Visitor?
We want you to feel comfortable! Please review the 'Frequently Asked Questions' below to see what Faith Lutheran is all about.
Where is the church located?
The address for the church is 2740 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505. We are located on the corner of Fuller and Three Mile, just south of Plainfield Ave.
I don't have much church background. Am I welcome here?
Of course you are! All people are welcome here, especially guests and people who have little or no church background. A banner in our sanctuary says, "Find Acceptance In This House," and our hope is that this is less of a challenge than a statement of our hope to show the same kind of hospitality that Jesus showed throughout his life. So we welcome and invite you to come join us and participate as fully as you feel comfortable. We also recognize that people may be at different places in their faith journey and may want to proceed at their own pace in that journey. Our congregation is made up of people and families with varied backgrounds, and we appreciate and welcome the diversity of experience and life history that they bring to our life together in community.
The name of this church is Faith Lutheran Church. What does it mean that it is a "Lutheran" church?
Lutherans are Christians who received their name in the 16th Century from Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation. While this church follows many of his teachings, we certainly do not worship Martin Luther. We are a church that believes in the triune God, that is one God in three persons- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Lutheran church places a strong emphasis on the Word of God and the importance of the Bible as source and norm for our lives of faith. If you are interested in learning more about what a Lutheran is, please click on this link.
What should I wear when I attend worship services or other events at the church?
Those attending worship services at Faith Lutheran wear attire that ranges from fairly formal to much more casual. A few people will wear sports coats, and shirts with ties, but others will wear casual slacks or jeans and more casual shirts. It is not uncommon for women at our worship services to be wearing nice dresses or skirts, but others will be wearing jeans, sweaters, and more casual attire. The bottom line is that we are much less interested in what a person is wearing than the fact that you are here worshipping God with us. We welcome you among us and we encourage you to come as you are.
Where do I park? How do I enter the building?
Our parking lot kind of wraps around the east and south sides of the church itself. The sanctuary (where our worship normally occurs) is the large A-Frame style building to the south along Fuller. The main doors to that building are located on the south side of the building. The other A-Frame building (our Fellowship Hall) is built on a slightly lower level, but it is connected to the sanctuary by means of stairs and an elevator. The doors to the Fellowship Hall are on the east side of the building. You may enter through any door that is most convenient to you.
Is the building handicapped accessible?
Yes and no. There are no steps as you enter the upper level of the church building, and most of our Sunday morning worship takes place on that level. We also have an elevator that connects the upper sanctuary level to the floor below. On this floor we have our offices, nursery, church library, chapel, classrooms, kitchen and fellowship hall...as well as our handicapped accessible restrooms. Access to our lowest level (which is primarily used by our Boy Scout Troup and a Vocational Education Program) requires a person to use exterior doors if the stairs would otherwise prove to be an obstacle for them.
How long does the worship service usually last?
Each of our Sunday Morning worship services typically lasts between an hour and an hour and fifteen minutes.
Are children welcome to attend the worship services? Is there a nursery available for younger children?
We encourage and welcome children to attend all of our worship services. There is a special time for young children in the 11:00am worship called the "Children's Message" when the pastor invites the children to gather in the front of the church for a brief Bible lesson and prayer. We also have a nursery downstairs if children should get fussy or need some play time. Our nursery is staffed by an attendant who would love to meet you and your child and offer some age appropriate activities during worship.
Is there a Sunday School program available for my children in addition to attending worship services?
Yes! Our congregation has a dedicated Sunday School program for children from pre-school to 12th grade and an Adult Forum program as well. We also offer first communion instruction, a three-year confirmation program, youth group activities and events, and a great confirmation camp program each summer.
What if I, or my child, need to get up and leave in the middle of the worship service?
No problem. If a need arises, feel free to leave and return as you are able. Restrooms are located downstairs. We welcome children to stay in worship even if they are a little fussy, but should you need to take them outside the sanctuary, feel free to use the nursery or any other space you might need. There is a live video feed of our service in the nursery so that you can still listen to the service from there is you choose to stay with your child.
Will I have to introduce myself or stand up to be recognized if I am a guest at a worship service?
No, we do not ask our guests to stand up during the service and introduce themselves. However, we hope you will feel welcome and perhaps stay for our fellowship time of refreshments and conversation after the Sunday morning service, if you wish. We would welcome you to fill out the worship information sheet on the pad at the end of each row of pews so that we know you were our guest this week.
How will I know what to do during the worship service?
Each worshipper is given a worship bulletin by an usher as they enter the sanctuary (worship area). The bulletin provides an outline of the worship service, the Scripture readings for the day, and some information about what's going on at Faith Lutheran Church. Most of what happens in worship will be printed in that bulletin, and the worship leaders will also offer cues during the service reminding people where we're at in the bulletin, and indicating, when we typically stand or sit for various parts of the service.
As a guest, am I expected to contribute to the offering that is taken at each worship service?
As we try to be good stewards (caretakers) of all that God has given to us - including our time, abilities, and money- we ask our members to contribute financially as they are able to help support the ministries of Faith Lutheran, as well as the mission of the larger church both nationally and worldwide. We offer our financial gifts to God as an act of thanksgiving for all that God has already given us and as a way of participating joyfully in God's mission of love and service to our neighbors, our community, and our world. As a guest, if you wish to contribute to our congregation's ministry, you are most welcome to do so, and we thank you for your generosity. However, no one is required to make a financial offering.
Can I take Holy Communion when I visit the worship service?
We welcome all people to receive the bread and wine of Holy Communion. If you have never taken communion or have never been baptized but would like to explore how to do so, please talk to the pastor after the worship service or call the church office during the week. Pastor Kevin would be delighted to meet you and talk about Baptism and Holy Communion with you.
How is Holy Communion served in worship?
Our two Sunday morning worship services have slightly different traditions for receiving Communion. The 8:30 service is usually a smaller and more intimate gathering. At that service those wishing to receive Communion come forward when they are invited to do so and form a semi-circle in the space before the altar. The Pastor and Communion Assistant will then bring the bread and wine (or juice) around to each of those gathered. The Pastor will give you the bread, saying: "This is Christ's body, given for you." Please hold onto the bread at that time. Soon the Worship Assistant will bring the cups (one of wine and one of juice). As the Worship Assistant says: "Christ's blood, shed for you," you are invited to dip the bread in either the juice or wine as you prefer and eat it at that point.
At the 11:00 am service, the ushers will indicate to a row of people when it is time to rise and go forward for communion. The Pastor and a Worship Assistant will be standing at the head of the aisle in front of the altar. Either the Pastor or the Worship Assistant will hand you the bread saying: "The body of Christ, given for you." Please hold onto it as you approach the Communion Assistants who will be holding the cups of wine and juice. Typically the wine is in the larger ceramic cup, and is held by the Communion Assistant closest to the pastor or Worship Assistant. The juice is usually in the glass goblet and is of a clear or light color. As you approach the Communion Assistant holding the cup that you prefer they will extend the cup to you saying, "The blood of Christ, shed for you" and you may dip the bread in the cup and eat it at that time.
Young children and those not wishing to receive Communion but seeking a blessing, may come forward in the Communion line and by keeping their hands crossed, indicate they would like a blessing. The Pastor or Worship Assistant will then offer a blessing for the person, reminding them of God's love for them.
Generally, children receive first communion instruction before they take communion. If your child is interested in receiving Holy Communion, please speak with Pastor Kevin.
If you do not wish to receive communion or a blessing, you may simply remain in your seat as others in your row go up for communion.
What happens after the worship service?
Coffee and refreshments are served in the narthex (the gathering space) after worship on Sunday morning. This is a time to meet people and gather for fellowship and conversation. During the school year the 8:30 Worship service is followed by a brief time of fellowship, and then Sunday School for all ages will begin around 9:45 am - 10:45 am. All are welcome to join a class.
How can I get more information about the church and its programs?
We invite you to read through our website for more information about specific programs, opportunities, small groups, and other ways our community gathers together. Feel free to contact the pastor, the church office or other members of the congregation if you have further questions. You can also request that the monthly newsletter with information and a calendar of events be sent to you. For a fuller experience of Faith Lutheran, we hope that you will join us for worship one day. Come and see!