I'm New, What to Expect
What to expect at
Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Bethlehem welcomes all people into our community of faith. We hope that you join us for Sunday worship at 10:00 a.m or on Zoom at 10:30 when we are quarantining, as well as other activities throughout the year. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers which may help!
What is worship like?
Worship at Bethlehem is probably best described as “casual traditional.” We are blessed with two Supply Ministers, Pastor Ned McMillen and Pastor Jim Wisecup, who preside over worship on a rotating basis. We have a choir that is led by our Music Director, Lyudmila German. Our music selection varies from traditional hymns to contemporary songs. During Christmas and Easter, our choir may perform an anthem with bells, and we have had drums as well. While the worship service varies every week, we use traditional elements such prayers, songs, the Apostle’s Creed, and Holy Communion. And while we use these traditional elements, we also maintain a casual atmosphere : congregational sharing of special God moments during the week occurs many times before worship, the prayers of the people are collected from those who are gathered, and often there is laughter as something does not go as planned. We are known to clap in gratitude to the beautiful music supplied by our choir and our Music Director. We welcome the sound of children and babies during worship.
As a visitor, we will never point you out during worship or make you feel uncomfortable. You will be greeted individually by many of the fellow worshippers, most of whom will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have during worship. Bethlehem uses the Evangelical Lutheran Worship Service and Hymnal. Several different worship services and songs are included in the one book.
We invite you to join us after worship at our traditional coffee hour, where we share conversation, home-baked goods, fruit, coffee, juices, etc.
An announcement email is sent out every week providing the news of the week or month such as meetings, events, and the theme for our Giving Basket. Our Giving Basket is where we collect donations for local charities. Please see our Outreach - Connect and Serve page.
If you would like to be included in our mailing list, please send an email to our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
When do you worship?
We worship every Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary or at 10:30 on Zoom. We also offer a variety of seasonal worship services, special events, and social gatherings throughout the year. Please see our Current and Upcoming Events page.
What should I wear?
There is no dress code at Bethlehem, so you may wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Some people wear suits and dresses, others wear jeans and shorts. We come together to worship God, and that is our priority.
What about Covid-19?
When Covid numbers are on the rise, we worship on Zoom; when they come down, we worship in our sanctuary. When worshipping in the sanctuary, we ask people to observe social distancing and sit 10’ apart. We do not require masks unless advised by the State of Connecticut or Town of Redding. They may also be used if that is what you are comfortable with. Communion is presided over by the minister of that Sunday, prepared by a masked, vaccinated person with thoroughly washed hands and set up for each person to pick up and take on their own. Any changes will be announced before worship.
Where should I park?
Where do I go once I arrive?
Bethlehem’s parking lot is located behind the church. The driveway entrance to the parking lot is between the white house to the left of the church and the condos to the left of the white house. Once they have parked, most people use the church entrance off the parking lot. You can also enter through the lilac-colored front doors on the Portland Avenue side of the building.
Can I receive communion?
We celebrate communion every week during our Sunday worship. All are welcomed to the Lord’s Table regardless of age, church or denomination membership, and baptismal status. You may also come forward during communion to receive a blessing if you choose not to receive communion.
Is there an offering?
Bethlehem sustains our ministry through the financial giving of its members and friends. We view the offering as an opportunity to give back to God the token gifts that God has already given us. An offering is collected during each worship service.