Looking for an uplifting message, beautiful music and good fellowship in a traditional Christian worship service? Haven't been to a church in years and feel like something is missing in your life? Or, starting a family and want a moral upbringing for your children? Everything you'll want to know about our Service is here.
Every Sunday at 10:30 Bethlehem opens its doors to all. We are a welcoming environment for families looking to share quality time together, singles seeking refuge from the work-a-day world, seniors desirous of comfort and companionship from an active group of their contemporaries, children who could use structure and encouragement, and for all who seek support and prayer. Our Sunday services are known for their uplifting and thought provoking message, the beautiful music from our choir and the opportunity to share in worship and good fellowship.
What is our service like?
We hold a traditional Christian service based on the Lutheran Book of Worship that includes the sharing of Holy Communion. If you are able to receive communion in your home church, you are always welcome to receive communion at our church, regardless of your affiliation. (If you haven't been to Bethlehem before, please see the Haven't been to Church in a while? section below.)
Music is an important part of our worship. Our services are known for the glorious music that comes from our concert-quality pipe organ, our choir and guest soloists. Our congregation joins in on a variety of hymns drawn from the rich history of Christianity and Lutheranism. If you have any favorites you'd like to hear, be sure to let Steve Wilson, our Music Director, know and he'll be glad to try to accommodate you on a future Sunday. (Bethlehem's Choir can be seen performing on YouTube.)
Children over the age of 3 are welcome at our 9:15 a.m. Sunday School held just prior to services (except during summer). Crafts, activities and lessons are melded into an enjoyable experience that is both educational and reassuring. The children are shown God's love and join the congregation for a portion of the regular 10:30 service.
That's OK. We'll welcome you and your family and hope that after you've experienced Bethlehem you'll come again soon. Our service lasts just over an hour and children join the congregation for the first portion of the regular service and for the Children's Sermon. We often have a Coffee Hour immediately following service. (Check our Calendar for the latest schedule.)
That's OK. Really. Here are somedetails about our service and some tips to help you feel comfortable at Bethlehem.
When you enter you will be greeted by someone who will give you a program. You can sit anywhere you'd like. But, if you haven't been to church in a while you may want to position yourself near the middle so you can see when to stand or sit by following the lead of someone nearby. (And don't worry, we never kneel.) Your children may sit with you or, if they're over the age of 3, they can join our Sunday School'ers in the Church basement. The children join us for the first part of the service, get their own sermon (and sometimes a lollypop) and then go back downstairs until communion time. If you have a baby or child who's getting a little rambunctious we have a small sitting room off of the entrance where you can take a breather and still hear the service.
The Evangelical Lutheran Worship (the red book) contains the words for the entire service. (We also have a large print version available.) The program tells you the page we are on. The words our Pastor will speak/sing are in "regular" font and the words the congregation speaks/sings are in bold font. There are often two versions of each section, one of which Pastor will use. The program also contains inserts with the prayers and readings for that particular Sunday. (For this week's and next week's readings, go to our publisher's website: Augsburg Fortress.)
Hymn numbers are posted on the boards in front and their words and music will be at the back of the red book. Our organist will play one verse alone so you'll know the tune before we join in singing. Then you can sing along with our choir and congregation, or just move your lips like so many of the rest of us do at first. (But remember, with enough of us singing loudly, no one will ever hear an off-key note.)
If you would like to help out and become more of a part of our service, you are welcome to do so. Every Sunday we need readers for the two readings, preparers to set up before service, communion assistants, sponsorship of altar flowers, and assistance with our post-service coffee hours, not to mention serving on one of our Commissions. If you would like to help, please mention it to Pastor or one of our Church Council members.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church is conveniently located on the corner of Fourth & Ovington Avenues in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn -- just blocks from the BQE / I-278 and the Belt Parkway.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Sunday Service: 10:30 am
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