We’re excited that you’re considering coming to St. John’s! 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 talented 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 preference.
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 one of St. John’s members 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 it’s very easy to follow along.
If you have children with you, be sure to pick up a “Little Children’s Worship Bag”. Each bag contains a book and some activities that will help parents and children focus upon the Lord during Service. We also make the children’s bulletins available from the ushers. Why? We love having children in worship, even if they are noisy or fidgety — and these resources help them hear how much God loves them. The materials in the bags are changed periodically. Pick up and return the bags on the post in the Atrium.
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, our weekly church newsletter. You’ll find it inserted in your worship folder, and it details all of 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 same order of worship is used for both the traditional and the contemporary services. You’ll notice the lyrics for the contemporary service songs are printed in italics.
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 – we love having infants and children in church, as that is how they learn to worship! That said, if your child needs a short break during the service, the service is live streamed to TVs in the atrium and the library, so feel free to utilize either of those areas.
Holy Communion is offered in all three weekend services. 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 to 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.
Coffee / Breakfast
After the 8:00 AM service, you are invited into the gymnasium for a light breakfast and fellowship.
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 at 9:15 am for singing and prayer 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 bible class is held in the gymnasium beginning at approximately 9:30 am.
Again, if you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please contact us. We want your first visit to be a blessing to you. If you live in our community or surrounding area and you do not have a church home, we welcome your consideration. We offer true fellowship with a living Savior and membership in His Church.