We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, rooted in the faith and tradition of the ancient Western Church, but attuned to the fresh utterances of the Spirit. For a century, Moxham Lutheran Church has been a center of worship and community service here in the Moxham neighborhood of Johnstown. We remain open to the surprises, shifts, and possibilities of the Spirit.
In the words of our Savior Jesus Christ, we invite you to “come and see” and experience faith anew with us. Worship with us, visit with us, and see if God is calling you to be a part of the gracious work that God is unfolding all around us and through us here at Moxham Lutheran Church.
What To Expect
Worship begins at 10:00 AM. There are no pre-requisites to participate!
Worship is one gathering for all people and there is no age restriction or dress code. While we understand that children are sometimes heard during worship, we prefer their lively presence to the silence of their absence.
We have a rich tradition of music with a hymnal that includes over 800 songs. Our accompaniment is usually by piano or organ.
Moxham Lutheran Church practices a “liturgical” form of worship, following the same basic pattern the Christian church has used since its beginning. “Liturgy” means the work of the people and reminds us that worship is participatory — an active undertaking rather than a spectator event; the pastor, lectors, and assisting ministers lead, and the rest of the congregation responds in song and prayer. The liturgy, which is taken directly from Holy Scripture, includes four broad categories:
We are gathered and welcomed into worship through word, song, and prayer. This portion of the service also typically includes an opportunity as a whole congregation to corporately (meaning “as a group”) confess to God our sinfulness and to hear God’s gracious promise of forgiveness.
We usually hear four separate readings from the Holy Bible: a reading from the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible), all or a portion of a Psalm, a reading from the New Testament, and a Gospel reading from either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Our readings cycle every three-years (referred to as a “Lectionary”) so that we hear a variety of what is included in God’s Word.
The Pastor’s sermon is a continuation of the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ; the sermon is usually a little less than 15 minutes long.
Each Sunday here at Moxham, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper (also referred to as “Communion” or the “Eucharist”). As Lutherans, we believe that Christ is truly present in, with, and under the bread and wine. How does this happen? We do not pretend to know or understand, but in faith we believe that we receive the body and blood of Jesus. This is Jesus’ table, not the table of Moxham Lutheran Church, so you are invited to commune whether or not you are a member and regardless of age. If you do not want to commune, the Pastor can also offer a blessing.
This brief portion of the service includes a final blessing upon the congregation as we are sent out into the world by God to bless and serve others.
Liturgical worship can be confusing at first, but there’s a bulletin to help you follow the pattern of worship and other people around to guide you, or you can simply watch and follow along. We alternate between standing and sitting at different parts of the service, but those with limited mobility are welcome to remain seated and may stay in the pew and have communion brought to them.
Why come to Moxham Lutheran?
You may be asking, “Why should I come to Moxham? Here are just a few reasons:
- Lutheran theology is centered on grace—God’s free gift of love to all—and calls us to love without judgment. You will find the Lutheran church and Moxham Lutheran, in particular, to be a community of welcome, healing, and new life.
- During Sunday worship, you will hear the good news of God’s love through scripture, prayer, preaching, and song, and you are guaranteed an encounter with God through Holy Communion.
- Worship gathers us in but then sends us back out to serve. At the conclusion of worship, we recite what we believe to be our congregational mission: “Together, we go into the world…sharing God’s word, serving others, growing in faith, and practicing stewardship as a way of life.” Our experience together that begins in Sunday worship transforms us for new living, relevant to whatever we do, in all of our relationships, all week long.
Come and see! Perhaps you’ll find there’s a place at the Lord’s Table already set and waiting for you.