What to Expect When You Visit

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Romans 15:7 (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

Click here to read today's devotion



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.

It can sometimes be intimidating to visit a new church for the first time. You might be asking, "What do I wear? Where do I go? Will I stand out?" We want you to feel at ease.  Here's what you can expect when you visit SonRise Lutheran Church.


When you get to the campus, you'll know which driveway to use because you'll see the large, white sign for "The Lakeside Camp" at the end of the driveway, with a smaller SonRise Lutheran Church sign below it.  But where to park?  SonRise has no marked parking spaces, but we do have lots of parking.  Simply park wherever you'd like, as long as it doesn't block a roadway.

Conference CenterWhere to go after you park?  We meet for worship in the Conference Center, the long building right off the parking area.  Come in the double white doors facing the main parking lot.

When you get inside, restroom facilities and coatracks are to your right.  (Coatracks are across from the Ladies' Room.)  There will be one or two people handing out some paper, which will guide you through the worship service.  You'll want to pick up a hymnal too - about half our songs typically come from the hymnal (the other half being projected on a screen).  Most people will be talking with one another at this point.  You'll notice that the dress and style is quite casual.  You'll probably see young children playing.  We start when we're ready.


At the beginning of worship, the pastor normally welcomes the congregation, followed by a few brief announcements.  Depending on your background, you might be surprised to see the pastor wearing vestments (robes and colorful apparel) - or you might be surprised to see him NOT wearing vestments.  We believe that vestments can be beneficial and help us focus on the grace of Christ.  However, we also acknowledge that there are people for whom vestments are a distraction.  So, sometimes the pastor will wear them - especially on important festival days in the church year - and sometimes he won't.Faith Hall

And here, you see the first evidence of one of our guiding principles: we acknowledge that different people have different preferences, and we bear with one another in love.  In matters that are not commanded by Scripture, we allow for Christian freedom.

You'll see this Christian freedom in the songs as well.  Some people are deeply moved by ancient hymns, pipe organs, and traditional liturgy.  Others have their spirits lifted when they sing new songs, accompanied by guitars and drums.  How do we deal with this?  We sing each others' songs.  No one is going to like every song we sing.  "But for the sake of my brother who is moved by this song, I'll sing it with joy, knowing my brother will do the same for me when it's a song that I love."  Grandparents sing with grandchildren.  "Contemporary" blends with "Traditional".  We put our differences aside for the sake of the Gospel, and all together, we give glory to God.  That's what SonRise is about.

The service continues following the printed order.  While the words and music change from week to week - and the full order of service changes about once a month - still, we do follow a "liturgical" style that has been passed down from the earliest church to today.  "Liturgy" just describes the way the service is set up, and the order that's followed.  We believe there is meaning in using a deliberate, planned order.  If you have Catholic roots, many parts of the service will feel familiar, though you'll notice some big differences as well.

After the sermon, the offering will be gathered - and, as a guest, you are not expected to contribute to the congregation's offering - followed by Holy Communion.

AltarHoly Communion is a very special Sacrament.  We believe the Bible's teaching that in, with, and under the bread and wine actually is the real and true body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said that it is His body and blood, and we believe him.  But, to this blessing, the Bible attaches a warning.  Those who don't know what they're receiving can actually receive communion to their great harm! (1 Corinthians 11:27-30)  It would be the most unloving thing imaginable to allow harm to come to our guests because of us.  Therefore, we ask that those who commune at this altar are baptized Christians who regret their sins and desire to receive Christ’s real Body and Blood for forgiveness, trusting in God’s Word as He revealed it in Scripture. With this encouragement, we trust each individual to judge honestly for himself/herself whether he/she is prepared to receive the Lord's Supper.  If you have any questions about this, please ask our pastor. 


When the service concludes, many of our members stay around to chat for a while, and we have freshly brewed coffee and delicious refreshments to encourage this.  You, too, are welcome to stay as long as you like.  Meet some new friends.  Walk around and see the facility.  In short, make yourself comfortably at home.  And make plans to come back next week.  After all, you're a friend.