Christ Lutheran is located at 13009 N Elderberry Ct, Lodi, CA 95242. Heading south on Lower Sacramento Rd from Harney Ln, turn right on Extension Rd and then immediately left onto Elderberry Ct. The church facility is at the end of the road.
What is Christ Lutheran like?
We are a small church, with an average of 50-60 in attendance on Sunday morning. Our Sunday morning schedule includes worship at 9:00 am, fellowship from 10:00-10:30, and Bible study and Sunday school for all ages from 10:30 - 11:30. We strive to be welcoming and friendly, so feel free to ask anyone for help if you need it.
What is worship like at Christ Lutheran?
Our worship is called a service -- but who is doing the serving? At Christ Lutheran Church, we come to worship because God serves us through His Word and sacraments. As such, our worship style is reverent and inclusive: reverent in that everything in the order of service reflects Christ's work for us, and inclusive in that we encourage families to receive His Word and sacraments together. We provide service folders each week to help guide you through the service and make our worship as easy to follow as possible.
Our worship is liturgical, which means we have a set order of worship every week. The orders we use have traditional forms along with modern language and applications. The traditional features of our worship bring us the best from God’s Church throughout the ages, while the contemporary features remind us that God’s promises of forgiveness, guidance, and peace still apply to our daily lives. Even children begin to recognize and remember familiar parts of the liturgy that allow them to participate and worship with the family of God.
Music is also an important part of our worship. Through our music we affirm God's work for us and express our thanks to God for his wonderful salvation. We use a variety of songs and Psalms from throughout the ages because in doing so, we connect ourselves to the historical and living Church throughout the world. Whether it's a song based on a chant from the fourth century, or a modern hymn like In Christ Alone, the music we use will always serve to remind us of what Jesus has done for us and for our salvation.
What is a liturgy?
The liturgy is our order of service. Our worship contains many of the same elements as that of the early Christian church. It includes the following:
The Confession of Sins: We confess to God that we have failed to live up to the perfect standards in his law, and we plead for his mercy.
The Announcement of Forgiveness: The pastor announces the forgiveness of sins won for us by the perfect life and innocent sufferings and death of Jesus, our Savior.
A Song of Praise: These songs of praise remind us of the wonderful things God has done for us, not the least of which is the salvation he gives through Christ.
Prayer of the Day: The Church brings her concerns and prayers to a loving Father in heaven, who has shown great mercy and promised to hear our cries for help.
Scripture Readings: The pastor reads three selections from the Bible. They usually include one selection from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament epistles (letters), and one from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).
Sermon: The pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a sermon, usually based on one of the three readings. Expect to hear God’s guidance for dealing with the problems of life, along with the promises of forgiveness and eternal life in heaven through Jesus.
Response to the Word: We respond with offerings and prayers for the things God has promised us and for strength to do what he has asked.
Holy Communion: Currently we celebrate Holy Communion on every first and third Sunday of the month. Before communing, however, we ask our visitors to please speak with the pastor. As a congregation we practice closed or close communion. For a further explanation of this practice, please see below.
Final Blessing: We hear one last assurance of God’s guidance and love.
What is closed or close Communion?
One of the most frequently asked questions people have about worship at Christ Lutheran is our practice of closed or close Communion. First of all, we do not practice closed Communion to be exclusionary or judgmental. Nor is it out of a “holier than thou” attitude. Quite the opposite! Those who come to the Lord's table come because they know and confess that they are not holy. We want all people to join us for this heavenly banquet, so please don’t think that we want to exclude you. Nothing could be further from the truth. That being said, the Scriptures do have some very definite things to say about fellowship and instruction before coming to the Lord’s table. That’s why we ask that you talk to our pastor so we have a chance to explain what the Bible has to say before we celebrate Communion together.
What should I wear?
Sometimes people wonder how they are expected to dress at a church they’ve never visited before. Since the Bible presents no dress code, aside from simple modesty, we don’t make any rules either. Like most people, our members try to make their worship time at church a special time. This is often reflected in the way they dress. However, on any given Sunday you may see running shoes and high heels, jeans and suits, open collars and ties. When a person dresses out of love for God, the choice of dress (casual or more formal) is acceptable to God . . . and us.
What if I don't know much about the Bible?
There are no “super-Christians” at Christ Lutheran. None of us have our Bibles completely memorized (at least not yet!). If we did, we might feel that church was unnecessary. Worship and Bible study are opportunities to grow in our knowledge of the Bible and faith in Jesus. You won’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to answer. And remember, sometimes the wisest words we say are, “I don’t know.” You might especially want to ask about our Bible Information Class that pastor offers twice every year for those who would like to learn more but might be starting from scratch.
What is the WELS or Wisconsin Synod?
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). The word “synod” (pronounced sin’ id) is a Greek word that means, “walking together.” The names contains Wisconsin because it was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1850. WELS includes over 1,300 congregations worldwide, with a membership of about 400,000. This church body unites us with Christians across our country and around the world. It allows us to pool our resources for training church workers, doing mission work both at home and abroad, and producing published materials such as hymnals, Bible studies and other books. Our congregation and Synod stand firmly on all the teachings of Scripture. We believe that Jesus is our Savior and the only way to heaven (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Through faith in Jesus we are united to him and each other. The name “Lutheran” comes from the great reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). In a period in history when the Church had lost sight of its Savior and the truth of his Word, Martin Luther boldly challenged these errors and preached Jesus Christ alone as Savior. We are proud to remember his work in bringing to light the truth of God’s Word by using his name to identify ourselves.
A final thought
We pray that this has helped answer some of your questions and alleviate your fears. Our mission as a congregation is quite simple. We want to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people on the basis of the Holy Scriptures. Everything we do is meant to accomplish that one goal. We pray that there is nothing that stands in your way from learning more about your Savior at Christ Lutheran Church. Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do for you. God’s richest blessings to you. We look forward to meeting you!