Welcome to Christus Victor Lutheran Church and Student Center! We are happy to see your interest in our church and invite you to join us as we grow together as brothers and sisters of Christ. Below you will find information regarding what a typical service, student fellowship, bible study, etc. will look like and frequently asked questions are addressed. We hope to see you soon as we celebrate Christ’s Victory together. Please contact Pastor Michael with your questions!
Every Sunday at 8:00 and 10:45 am, we gather in the sanctuary for worship with Holy Communion. Our Sunday morning service follows a traditional liturgy. Liturgy is a fancy term that describes the order of the service that helps us to rejoice in the gifts God gives during the service. In our liturgy we hear of God’s service to us in love and respond with our thanks, praise, and requests. Sometimes these are spoken, sometimes sung, and sometimes chanted. The basic liturgy runs as follows:
It begins and ends remembering the name of God that gathers us together and sends us out in the world. Following the invocation (when we call upon God’s name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), we confess our sins and have our sins forgiven corporately.
The service of the Word begins with a psalm or a hymn that announces the theme of the day. Then we acknowledge that we and our world is broken and in need of God’s mercy; we pray Lord have mercy (Kyrie). The response to our cries for mercy is the faithfulness and triumph of our God as we sing the song of the angels (Glory to God in the highest) or the song of the heavenly host (Worthy is the Lamb who was slain–Revelation 5). After which we have a prayer/collect that prepares us for the three Scripture lessons appointed for the day. Then we have a hymn and a message. These are followed by our speaking together the faith (usually the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed) and our corporate prayers for the Church and all people according to their needs. The offering is then collected and offertory sung as we give thanks for God’s gifts and give our firstfruits recognizing that all we have is for God’s service.
Following the service of the word we have the service of Holy Communion. This portion begins with responsive reading, prayers and songs getting us ready to receive the mystery that is Jesus, the Passover Lamb, giving us his body and blood for our forgiveness in, with, and under the bread and the wine. We approach this gift with great reverence recognizing that by the power of Jesus’ word, we encounter him physically in this great mysterious gift. During the distribution, those who are baptized and instructed in the faith, come forward in a line to receive communion. If you haven’t learned about this great gift yet, we encourage you to come forward crossing your arms over your chest to receive a blessing in anticipation of receiving the gift in the future. Following the distribution, we rejoice in the gift received and go forth in joy singing the song of Simeon (Luke 2) or Thank the Lord. The service concludes with us being sent forth in the name of God (the Benediction) and a closing hymn.
We know the liturgy may seem odd if you have not encountered it before, but we encourage you to ask questions and grow with us.
During the academic school year, students meet at 6:00 pm on Sundays for a meal, followed by a short devotion and a Q&A session or activity. Expect a relaxed setting with opportunities to get to know others and for others to get to know you. We are small enough to care about you individually. We hope you join us as we grow in our understanding of the faith and encourage each other to life in Jesus’ name!
1. What should I wear?
We’d love for you to come as you are able. Certainly we recognize that God comes to us in a special way in the service and so it is good to reflect that in the way we dress; but that looks different for different people. Usual attire tends to range from shorts and jeans to a dress or tie.
2. How can I plug in?
We welcome your partnership in our church community. Members and non-members are vital to our life together. They greet, clean, read, sing, play, fix, etc. If you have specific talents that you would like to use in your giving back to our community, then please fill out our Time and Talents form and/or contact Pastor Michael
3. Should I commune when I worship?
We believe communion is a very special opportunity where God comes to us in a mysterious way. We believe that we receive Jesus’ body and blood for the forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament. This indeed is a mystery (sacramentum is the Latin word for mystery). We also believe that when you participate in an altar(i.e., in Communion), you are confessing what that altar (Church) teaches (1 Corinthians 10:14-22; 11:26). Participating in Communion is a big deal. As a result, we want people to know they are encountering the living Christ in Communion and that they are confessing with us by participating. If people have not been baptized, are antagonistic to what we teach and confess or are not ready to approach the living God for forgiveness (unrepentant of sin), we ask them to talk with Pastor Michael about these matters before they commune. Rather than to have you harmed by your participation, we want you to rejoice with us and receive its grace filled benefits!
4. I am not a student. Will I/we fit in at a student center?
We rejoice in the body of Christ. The body of Christ rejoices in diversity. Having young and old, educated and uneducated, U.S. citizen and international, et al. all coming together united in Christ is a wonderful gift and an important tool for us all to grow and mature as his people. So yes! You will fit in! Christ has fit you in and we need you as we rejoice in the fullness of the body of Christ!
As we recognize that joy, we also recognize that we as body of Christ continue to morph and adjust to the needs of our congregation. We do not always have everything. And so, if there is something that we are missing that is important for your growth in the body of Christ, we are committed to figuring out how best to see to that need.