St. Stephen Lutheran Church
St. Stephen Lutheran Church

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to be a: Lutheran to attend church services?

 

A: No, anyone is welcome to worship with us from any tradition.

 

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Q: Is there a need to dress up if I come to church?

 

A: No, even among our parishioners the attire varies.

 

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Q: You said communion? What do you believe about that? Do I have to be a member or a Lutheran to take communion?

 

A: Lutherans believe that the bread and the wine are truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. Young children if they have had proper instruction or have gone through our preparation for children may also take communion. If you have younger children please bring them with you anyway so they might receive a blessing.

 

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Q: I am a recovering alcoholic. I take medication that does not go well with alcohol, what do I do about the wine?

 

A: At every celebration of Holy Communion, we offer both white non-alcoholic grape juice as well as red wine. It is your choice when you come to take communion.

 

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Q: Do I take communion in my seat or do I come forward?

 

A: Sometimes communion is received getting in line to the front of the church, and sometimes you are escorted to the altar rail near the altar where you may either kneel or stand to take the bread or the cup.  If you have trouble getting around, please alert the usher, and communion can be brought to you in the pew.

 

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Q: How do I participate in the service?

 

A: Our service has an order based on the historic order of the church throughout the ages. Sometimes responses from the congregation are spoken, sometimes sung. Our worship bulletin and hymn book are the primary resources for our  worship.

 

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Q: I’ve seen your church and have visited. I have a child who needs to be baptized, how do find out about that? Do I have to be a member to get my child baptized?

 

A: You do not have to be a member of St. Stephen Lutheran Church to inquire about baptism. However the pastor feels strongly that one or both of the parents should attend St Stephen on a regular basis. Baptism in the Lutheran Tradition believes that a child by God’s gracious action in the act of baptism becomes a Christian, part of God’s family. The faith that both Sponsors and Parents speak on behalf of the child is one that is to be nurtured in the life of the child so that at a later age the child professes their faith on their own in an act that is called the “Affirmation of Baptism" or what we know as “Confirmation.” The parents must first meet with the pastor to discuss baptism, and pastor will make the final decision as to whether the baptism will take place.

 

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Q: Do you do private baptisms?

 

A: Almost all baptisms take place during worship, since the newly baptized will be part of that Christian community, and in some way the congregation participates in the Christian nurture of the child.

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Q: Do you baptize adults?

 

A: Yes. The pastor will gladly give instruction for baptism if you have not been baptized. Please be aware that adult baptism also means that you are “confirmed” as well so that you would be a full commicant member of the church.

 

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Q: I like the look of your church, can I hold my wedding there?

 

A: We will gladly assist you with information concerning weddings at St. Stephen. Please call the church office or e-mail the church for updated guidelines for marriage at St. Stephen. Two brief important comments, however. All inquiries must go through the pastor, because the pastor is the officiant at all weddings at St. Stephen. The Director of Music is the official musician for all weddings.

 

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Q: What about a place for Children and Youth ?

 

A: We have a crying room/nursery on the main floor of the building. If you wish to go there with your child, the service can be heard in the nursery. During the school year, we have Christian Education for all ages. We have special classes for First Communion for children 7 and above. We also have a special “Confirmation” program which is a two year program. Please call the church office for more details. We also have a Youth Group which enjoys study, fun activities, and possible attendance at special youth events with the wider church.

 

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Q: How about “get togethers,” “social times,” or “fellowship"?

 

A: At least once each month we have a fellowship hour after Sunday worship. We have other fellowship groups for all ages. Please call the church office for details. We have a senior citizens ecumenical group that meets the first Wednesday of the month from February –June, and September – December.

 

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Q: I need to contact the office. When can I call?

 

A: There is someone in the office from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and the answering machine is always on.  The pastor is always available for emergencies.

 

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Q: My group is interested in meeting at St. Stephen. Who do I contact?

 

A: You may call the church office, who will put you in touch with the property committee for information regarding use of the church.

 

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Q: What about adult learning opportunities?

 

A: Bible Study and Adult Catechism sessions are scheduled throughout the year. Check with the church calendar or call the office to learn of the next scheduled series.

Come, grow with us    Sundays at 10:00 AM!   ALL ARE WELCOME!

(315) 479-9912

873 Dewitt St.

Syracuse, NY 13203

 

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