Visitor's Guide
    What is worship like at New Life?
  • Every church has its own style of worship. We think you'll enjoy the services here at New Life, but every church is different, so expect to take a couple of Sundays to become accustomed to our way of praising God together.
     
    We want our service to be easy to follow. Usually it will be available in both printed format and also projected on screen. In addition, we will often give you information regarding where you can turn in the hymnal to find the full music score if desired.
     
    God's Word -- the Bible -- is central to our worship service. In readings from the Bible, we hear God talk to us. There He brings us direction and comfort as He explains His love. But conversation with God is in two directions. Our response is also important. We speak to God in prayer and in the confession of our hearts, and we speak to one another as together we profess the faith we carry beyond our doors to the world.
     
    Music and singing are important parts of our worship as well. Loud or soft, in unison or rich harmony, ancient or contemporary, all our praises are music to the Lord.
     
    I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." ~ Psalm 122:1
     
    You will find that our worship services are different from Sunday to Sunday, but a very important framework will remain:
     
    Invocation, Confession, and Absolution
    Most services begin by calling on the name of our Savior Lord and praising Him with song.
    We admit our sin, both the improper things we have done and the good we failed to do. We ask God to forgive us, and we are assured again of God's forgiveness through Jesus.
     
    The Word
    The center of our worship experience is God speaking to us. We focus on Bible readings selected from God’s Old Testament prophets, Jesus’ apostles, and from Jesus himself. Our pastor provides a brief explanation to help us understand the context and message of each reading.

    The sermon expounds one section of the Word more thoroughly, as our pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Bible-based sermon for children and adults alike. Young or old, you can expect God’s guidance and grace through his Word for dealing with life's problems, as well as the promise of eternal life in heaven through our only Savior Jesus.
     
    The Prayers, Creed and Offering - Our Response to God and His Word
    We love our Lord Who first loved us. Our close relationship with Him leads us to talk to Him about what is on our hearts, to explain Him to others, and to dedicate ourselves to Him.
    In prayer, we request the things God promises us we can ask for, and seek His strength to do what He has asked.
    In the creed, we profess together who our God is and what He has done for us, typically using the Apostles' or the Nicene Creed.
    With our offerings, we express God's worth to us.
     
    Parting Blessing
    God is gracious. As we end our service, He sends us home with the assuring "hug" of the Lord’s gracious care.
     
    Throughout these different parts of our service, we praise our gracious God with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs from the entire history of God's Church. During some services, our members partake of the Lord's Supper. New Life Lutheran Church (and all congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) practice what is called "Close Communion". For an opportunity to study this is God's Word and better understand this practice, please contact Pastor Henselin.

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    What about the offering?
  • Sometimes visitors worry about the offering. "When will they take the offering?" "How will it be collected?" "How much am I expected to give?" "Do they want visitors to contribute too?" 

    Visitors are our guests. We don't want you to feel obligated to give. It's important first that you listen and examine what we stand for. Support for our ministry should follow (rather than proceed) an agreement with our teachings. Offerings express thankfulness to a gracious Savior. If the Lord has worked such joy and love in your heart, we rejoice; but give only as a heart-response to a loving Lord.
     
    We pass an offering plate during the service so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God. Because offerings are a private matter of the heart, we provide offering envelopes to members for their use. Whether it is the loose change of a child or the check of an adult, every offering is a gift to God from a heart which loves Him.
     
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    What is the worst that can happen?
  • Attending a church for the first time can be intimidating. Here are some common worries:
     
    "I would just die if they made me stand up and say something."
    We can assure you, we won’t embarrass you in this way. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible and at home with us. Time at church should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. We promise to do all we can to help you relax and learn about your Savior.
     
    "I know my child is going to be too noisy."
    Our congregation is much like a family with infants, kids, teens, adults and elderly. It is not unusual to hear the cry of a baby mixed in with the sound of hymns or readings. If, however, at any time you feel the need, you may bring you child into the nursery, where there is live television coverage of the worship service. To aid you, we have "quiet books" in our library. Feel free to take one into the service with you. We also have activity booklets for young learners, which can be used during the worship service or as a review at home.
     
    "I know I will feel out of place."
    We hope this visitor's guide has helped to ease your mind, but if you have a question, please ask someone for help. Don’t hesitate to say, "I'm new here. Can you help me?" We can assure you our members are more than willing to help!
     
    "I'm afraid I'll say or do something wrong."
    You are not alone! All of us, at some time, have felt this way in a new situation. We hope you'll see that the people at New Life are ordinary people like yourself. We want to accept you as you are and help you become what Christ wants you to be. We do not want to throw cold water on that with a critical spirit.
     
    "I just want to watch at first, but I know they'll try to get me involved or sign me up for something."
    It's unpleasant to be pressured or to be part of a "membership drive" as though we were heads of cattle, isn’t it? We believe church membership should be a voluntary matter, and the most important thing of all is to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation. This takes time. People need time to evaluate and decide if they wish further involvement in a congregation. We believe we should respect that need.
     
    "I don’t know that much about the Bible."
    Worship and Bible Study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. Don't forget...sometimes the wisest words to say are "I don't know".

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    How should I dress for worship?
  • The Bible presents no dress code, except for simple decency and Christian humility. We at New Life won't make any rules either.

    Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. Still, dress is a personal matter of worship before God. One person may dress casually and rejoice that our gracious Lord accepts us as we are, while another may dress to reflect the awe and reverence we have for our Savior King. On any Sunday at our church you may see running shoes and heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for his or her Lord, the choice of dress, be it casual or more formal, is acceptable to God . . . and us.

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    What about our church body?
  • New Life is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). Our church body started in Milwaukee, WI in the 1850s...hence, the name.
     
    Our membership in the WELS unites us with like-minded Christians across our country and around the world, who share a common faith with us. This "synod" allows us to do join together to do work we cannot do on our own. We pool our resources to do mission work at home and abroad, to train young people to serve in public ministry as pastors, teachers and staff ministers, and to put out publications such as hymnals, Bible studies, and other materials. Above all, we find comfort in knowing there are Christians throughout the world who share a common faith with us.
     
    Our congregation and church body are solidly based on the Bible. We believe that Jesus is our only Savior and way to heaven. Through faith we are united to him and to each other.
     
    If you want to know more about what we believe and practice, we invite you to visit our synod's page WELS.net. For a more in-depth look, you can read This We Believe.
     
    The name "Lutheran" comes from the great 16th Century reformer, Martin Luther. At that time in history, the Church had lost sight of its Savior and the truth of his Word. To restore that truth, the Lord used Martin Luther to boldly challenge these errors and preach Jesus Christ as Savior. For this reason, we are proud to remember his work in bringing to light the truth of God’s Word by using his name to identify ourselves.

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