We’re excited that you’re considering attending one of our church services! We understand that checking out a new church can be a little intimidating. This page should help to answer some of the questions you may have about your first visit. However, if you have any questions that aren’t answered here, please contact us. We want your first visit to be an enjoyable one.
We’re easy to find! Our church is located at 901 West Jefferson in Effingham, IL.
We have both traditional and contemporary church services. Our traditional services are held each Saturday evening at 5:30 PM, and each Sunday morning at 8:00 AM. The traditional services are the more “typical” Lutheran church service; songs are sung from the Lutheran Service Book, and the music is played on the church organ.
Our contemporary service is held each Sunday morning at 10:30 AM, with pre-service music starting around 10:25 AM. The music is a little more modern, and we use keyboards, guitars, drums, and other instruments. One of our song leaders leads the singing, and the lyrics are printed for you in the worship folder.
In either case, the entire order of worship is printed in the worship folder, so it’s easy to follow along. Take a look at our past service recordings and choose a service that fits your style.
There is plenty of parking available on the west and south sides of the church, and handicap parking is available near the west doors. There are several entrances to the church, but most people enter through the west doors, under the covered entryway. Feel free to pull under the covered entryway to drop off family members in the case of inclement weather.
Attending a Church Service
As you enter the building, you’ll be greeted by St. John’s member or one of the Pastors. They’ll be happy to answer your questions, help you find your way into the sanctuary, find restrooms, or anything else. There is an elevator available for access to every floor of the facility.
Just outside the sanctuary, you’ll see the Welcome Center. Stop by, introduce yourself, and sign the guest book. If you are a first time visitor, you’ll receive a small gift from St. John’s.
As you enter the sanctuary, one of the ushers will give you a worship folder. Our entire order of service is printed in the worship folder, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing what’s going on. It’s very easy to follow along. If you have children with you, they’ll receive a child’s activity booklet that follows the theme of the service and helps keep them occupied.
It’s best to arrive about 10 minutes before the service begins. This gives you plenty of time to find a seat and read through The Eagle, which is inserted in your worship folder. The Eagle is our weekly church newsletter listing all the latest happenings at St. John’s. You can also use this time to fill out the attendance card in the pew. It will be collected later in the service.
As the service begins, open your worship folder and follow along. The first half of the worship folder is used for the traditional services; the second half of the worship folder is for the contemporary service.
How Long are the Church Services?
The services typically last around 1 hour.
Is Child Care Available?
We don’t offer child care during the church services. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend church with their parents. The back few rows are reserved for families with small children. Please don’t worry if your child isn’t completely quiet during the service. In fact, if you listen, you’ll likely hear plenty of chatter coming from the back rows of the sanctuary. This is entirely OK, as a church without children is a dying church! That said, if your child happens to have a meltdown during the service (we’ve all been there), just take him/her out into the atrium for a few minutes.
Holy Communion is offered during all services every 2nd and 4th weekend. At St. John’s we follow the practice of closed communion. This practice is sometimes misunderstood. Here is the statement that appears in our bulletin each week:
When the members of St. John’s celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we confess the Real Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine, given and shed for the forgiveness of our sins. (1 Cor 10:16 & 1 Cor 11:23-26) We believe that Christ’s Body and Blood are present “in, with, and under” the elements of the Holy Supper (Luther’s Small Catechism). Members should register their intent co commune on the pew card. If you are visiting with us and you desire to join with us in communion fellowship in agreement with these beliefs, please speak to one of the Pastors or the elder on duty before the service.
If you will not be attending Holy Communion, you can just remain in your seat until that part of the service is over and the service continues.
What Should I Wear?
While there isn’t necessarily a “dress code”, most people wear what would be considered business casual clothing. The best recommendation is to simply look in your closet and wear some of your nicer clothes.
After the 8:00 AM service, coffee and pastries are available in the auditorium. On the first Sunday of each month, a full breakfast is served to raise funds for one of the many ministries at St. John’s.
Sunday School / Adult Bible Class
Sunday School and Adult Bible classes are held on Sunday mornings from 9:15-10:15 am. Children age 3 to 4th grade meet in the front of church to sing a few songs before going to their classrooms in the Education Building. Children 5th grade and up meet in their classrooms in the Education Building at 9:15 am. Children of all ages can be picked up from the Education Building at 10:15 am.
Adult classes are held in Trinity Rooms A and B (5th floor) beginning at 9:15 am.
Again, if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please contact us. We want your first visit to be an enjoyable one!