What should I wear?
Our style is relatively casual around Salem. Come as is comfortable for you. Feel free to dress in shorts or jeans, or if you’re in the mood to dress up, then dress up.
Is child care available?
Childcare is provided each Sunday beginning at 8:30 am and provided through the 10:30 am service. Our child care providers are employees of Salem Lutheran, Lyndale United Church of Christ and First Christian Church, and have undergone an interview process, background check, and training. They enjoy working with kids and strive to offer kids eight years and under a safe and engaging space when they aren’t active in the worship services. It is common for kids to come and go in the service, and families can determine how much of the service they’d like their kids to participate in. We strongly encourage kids to be part of the jazz service especially toward the later part of worship for Holy Communion, hymn singing, and a Kids’ Time.
Who can participate in communion?
Put simply, all who hunger for Jesus are welcome to partake in holy communion at Salem. Our “open table policy” welcomes everyone, regardless of church affiliation (or unaffiliation, as the case may be). We believe that Jesus is the host, and we also believe that Jesus welcomes all.
How does Communion happen? (And where do I kneel?)
At Salem, you won’t find any kneeling pads, because those who are able take communion standing up. We proceed in a single line to the altar, and we commune by intinction. This means that you receive the body of Christ (the bread) and then dip it into the blood of Christ (red wine or white grape juice – you choose the chalice). Our tradition of intinction makes for a portable “communion table,” so if you can’t easily proceed to the altar, we can bring the sacrament to you. And if you need a gluten-free option, we have that too – just ask the communion server.
Do kids take communion at Salem?
At Salem, kids of all ages are welcome to receive the bread and wine or grape juice. As kids become old enough to learn about this holy meal, they’re invited to participate in a special half-day communion class that teaches them more about this sacrament, what it means, and why we share it (oh, and they get to bake some bread, too). Holy communion is a favorite part of the service for many of our kids (including toddlers and preschoolers), and the age at which they begin to participate is entirely up to their families. It is also just fine for kids to simply come forward for a blessing.
How do you worship at Salem?
We have two services at Salem. The 8:30 am service is a Traditional Service. We follow one of the sung liturgies in our worship book (Evangelical Lutheran Worship-ELW) and the service includes hymns, readings, confession and forgiveness, and Holy Communion.
Our 10:30 am service is Jazz Worship. This service began more than 14 years ago and, like jazz, is a freer and more laid back style. That said, there is a worship bulletin and structure to the service that flows similarly most Sundays and follows a general Lutheran liturgical structure (gathering, word, meal, sending). The service is led by Spirit Jazz under the direction of Tom Pieper. Most Sundays, Tom plays the bass, Paul Harper is on the saxophone (or flute), and Scott Gerry plays guitar. Occasionally they add drums or piano. Most of our hymns for this service are from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW), but the jazz band takes the lead.
Each service includes Holy Communion, Confession and Forgiveness, readings, and a Kids’ Time. The sermon varies in style and often invites the participation and reflection of those in worship. Both services follow the readings of the Revised Common Lectionary and the classical flow of the church year.
Does attending worship mean I have to commit to something?
No. Some folks who attend want to get connected immediately, others favor anonymity, most find a gentle middle ground. During most services, we pass around a visitor book. If you’d like to be connected, feel free to leave contact information; if not, no worries, it’s fine to just show up and worship.