Frequently Asked Questions

"I will question you, and you make it known to me."
Job 38:3 (ESV)

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from January-April
except Palm Sunday & Easter

Palm Sunday and Easter
and from May-December

at Christ Church Episcopal
Route 9, Pottersville


Lutheran Hour Ministries

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January 6-February 17

Epiphany (ee-PIH-fuhny), meaning "manifestation" or "shining forth", is the celebration of God's incarnation in the child Jesus, and also that His gift of grace is extended to all, both Jew and Gentile. Epiphany contains several important festivals: First, the day of Epiphany celebrates the visit of the magi and their prophetic gifts declaring Jesus to be Messiah, priest, and king. Next, Jesus' baptism reminds us that Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness - and God the Father declares that Jesus is His Son. Finally, near the close of the Epiphany season comes the Transfiguration, commemorating the day when Christ, for just a brief moment, pulled back the curtain and let the disciples have just a glimpse of His Godly glory - and, once again, God the Father declares that Jesus is His Son. The two colors of Epiphany are White and Green - White for the glory and purity of Christ, and Green for spiritual growth which comes from hearing Christ's revelation as God. At the end of Epiphany, we come down from the mountaintop and begin the penitent walk toward Christ's passion and death in the season of Lent.

For a great FAQ resource, check out the LCMS FAQ page.  Sections include: The Bible, Doctrine (teaching), Worship/Congregational Life, Denominations, and LCMS Views.

Here are some questions we frequently answer.  If you don't see your question here, feel free to ask on our contact page.

How do I become a member?

We welcome all people into the SonRise family.  Please set up an appointment with Pastor Bahr.  He'll want to get to know you and your family.  Those who are already members of a LCMS church are received by transfer.  If you are not transferring from an LCMS congregation, you'll be received into membership after completing a short series of classes and, if unbaptized, receiving baptism.  (Those who are baptized by a Christian church in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit do not need to be baptized again, no matter in what denomination the baptism took place.)

You are welcome to attend services without becoming a member.  Church membership is not like club membership.  People become club members in order to receive benefits.  People become church members in order to be held accountable and to participate in God's command to bring His Gospel to the whole world.  Scripture is clear that we are to seek out the fellowship of believers and join with them (Hebrews 10:24-25, 1 Corinthians 12, Exodus 20:8).  If God is calling you to seek out a church home, we would be thrilled to receive you as a member of this family of faith.


How do I arrange for a baptism?

Baptism is given according to Jesus' command in Matthew 28: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (ESV)

Adults and children are welcome to receive baptism.  The Bible teaches that baptism is God's work, and as such, there is no age restriction or required method (sprinkling, pouring, immersion, etc.).  On the contrary, Jesus is quite adamant that children are not to be kept away from him, and the Apostles consistently compared baptism to circumcision, a rite which took place at 8 days old.  Jesus also is clear that instruction goes hand-in-hand with baptism.  Children are baptized and then instructed when they can understand, while adults are instructed first and then baptized.

There is no fee for baptism.  A pre-baptism conference with the pastor is required.  Please contact our pastor for more details and to arrange an appointment.


How do I arrange for a wedding?

Weddings are offered to assure a Christian couple of God's blessing, and to provide an opportunity for the whole church to rejoice with the married couple.  Christ teaches that, in marriage, God unites a man and a woman into one flesh, and that this is a lifetime commitment.

Those who desire to wed at SonRise are required to complete pre-marital counseling with one of our pastors.  Pastor Bahr is a trained facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment. Approximately three 1-hour sessions will be needed.  Contact our office for a marriage request form.

Weddings may be conducted inside, outside, or at the location of one's choosing, provided that the venue affords an atmosphere appropriate to a worship service.

As a wedding ceremony is a worship service of God, SonRise does not offer marriage when a spouse is not Christian or when both spouses are the same gender.


Do you offer counseling?

Absolutely.  Our pastors are not certified therapists, but they are able to bring the truth and comfort of God's word to bear on your life's joys and difficulties.  Additionally, Pastor Bahr is a trained Prepare-Enrich facilitator for pre-marital counseling, couples enrichment counseling, and couples crisis counseling.

Our pastors have provided pastoral counseling for addictions, relationships, peer pressure, depression, sexuality, eating issues, cutting, suicidal thoughts, faith crisis, and more.  When appropriate, referral to a certified counselor/therapist/psychologist is provided.

Pastoral counseling is confidential* and no fee is charged.  Counseling may make use of private confession and absolution, which is held at the highest confidence.  Sins confessed during private confession are never divulged to another.

Counseling is a sign of strength, not weakness.  Asking for counseling shows that you are asserting control over your life.  It's one of the first steps to healing.  You can set up a counseling appointment by contacting us.  Your name will be kept confidential.

*In the case of a counselee who promises harm to himself or another, the proper authorities must be notified to ensure safety.


How do I get to SonRise?

Here are the directions.


I'm looking for the camp (SonRise Lutheran Ministries).  Where is it?

Regrettably, SonRise camp closed at the end of 2010 due to financial difficulties. The property has been sold and is now operated as "The Lakeside Camp" by Word of Life Fellowship. We have a rental arrangement with them and are in the process of preparing to build a new home on the west side of Rt. 9, the portion of the former SonRise property retained for our future use.


I have children, and they're not always quiet.  Should I bring them to worship?

Absolutely!  We’re delighted to hear the sound of children!  Jesus loves children and we welcome them to worship with open arms.  In fact, you’ll probably see or hear the pastor’s children during the service.  To help children’s attention spans, we provide a table with toys and activity sheets.  Feel free to make use of it.  If your child’s crying makes you uncomfortable, there’s room to stand and rock behind the last row.  Don’t feel bad about coming and going if that’s what you need to do.  You’ll be in a room filled with parents and grandparents.  We understand!

You also might consider checking out our free Toddlin' programs.


Something happened.  Should I bother the pastor?

Many times, people are hesitant to “bother” the pastor for something they aren’t sure he would want to know about. Yet a big part of being a pastor is caring for people in the joys and sorrows of life, and that’s hard to do if the pastor doesn’t know what’s happening! Hearing from you is not a bother; it’s allowing your pastor to fulfill his calling. Please consider a phone call, note, or e-mail for any of the following reasons:

  • ***HOSPITALIZATION*** — VERY important! The hospital does NOT contact the church. Pastor won’t know you are there unless you tell him (unless he happens to be the EMT taking you in the ambulance!)
  • Pregnancy/Birth of a baby
  • Desire for baptism
  • Moving to a new address (near or far) or a new phone number
  • Request to bless a new home (or an old one!)
  • A family member is homebound
  • A family member is dying/has died
  • Engagement and request for marriage
  • Desire for marriage strengthening (even if nothing’s “wrong”)
  • Desire for personal absolution (a particular sin is troubling you and you want to confess privately)
  • Desire for a pastor’s counsel (difficult decisions, trouble with a child or marriage, depression, or any other reason)
  • Your child moves out of the house, including to college
  • You have an idea for the church and you’d like help with it
  • You want to visit with the Pastor in your home, his office, or elsewhere
  • You cannot attend a scheduled appointment or will be more than 30 minutes late
  • You or someone you know wants to learn more about the Lutheran faith
  • You or someone you know is interested in Christian education for a child/youth
  • You are looking to volunteer in a way that best fits your talents
  • You have a question about anything concerning faith, religion, life, or this congregation
  • You want to pray together
  • Anything else that makes you ask: “I wonder if I should speak with the pastor about this…”