Whether you are new to the area, just passing through or in need of a new church home... we welcome you to join us each Sunday at 9:00 am.
We are located in Fruitport Township, just minutes from the Lakes Mall area. Click here to contact us.
I am a member of an ELCA church, but we are looking for a new congregation to worship with that has families with children closer to our own children's age range. If we attend a WELS service, will we be allowed to partake in the sacrament of Communion? Answer: When you attend a Holy Communion service in a WELS church, you may or may not read something like the following in the church bulletin:“The Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, will be celebrated in today’s service. The Bible teaches us that Jesus offers us his body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins in the Lord’s Supper. The Bible also instructs us that receiving the Lord’s Supper together is a public expression of our complete ‘oneness,’ or unity of faith. “Because the Lord’s Supper is an expression of our unity in faith, we invite to the Lord’s Supper only those who have expressed that unity with us through membership in our congregation or one of our sister congregations in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), or our sister denomination in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). “If you are a guest from another Christian church, we kindly ask that you refrain from participation in our celebration of the Lord’s Supper today. We don’t want to be presumptuous and put you in the position of declaring your agreement with our beliefs before you have had a chance to learn more. “We would like you to be able to join us for the Lord’s Supper in the future. If you would like more information, please speak to our pastor after the service. We look forward to any opportunity to discuss the Christian faith with you and to work toward a common confession of faith! “If the WELS church you attend does not have that much detail in their bulletin regarding Holy Communion attendance, their practice will be the same. So, while you will not be able to receive Holy Communion, you will hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed. And the gospel in Word brings the same blessings as the gospel in the sacrament. Please do contact the pastor of the church you visit. He will be happy to explain in person the historic and scriptural practice of closed communion.Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.
I was recently discussing a woman's head covering during worship. At first I was adamately against it, but then my Christian friend had me read 1 Corinthians 11 which says: On Covering the Head in Worship 2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[a] and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. 7 A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God. After reading this, I felt it was pretty straightforward that women should wear head coverings during a church service. I was especially shocked because it was in the New Testament. I thought they were going to try to twist God's Word to prove their point, but it seemed pretty straightforward to me. I know women in the WELS do not wear head coverings during church services. What is the WELS' viewpoint on this Bible passage? Answer: I’m glad you included verse 16 in the section from 1 Corinthians 11 that you quoted because that verse provides the answer to your question.In verse 16 the apostle Paul identifies the head coverings of the Christian women in Corinth as a “practice” or custom. A local practice or custom is far different from a universal principle from God, binding all women of all time to do the same. Because the Bible limits the instruction of head coverings to the women of Corinth in the first century by calling this a “practice,” women of other places and times are not bound to that instruction.What was going on in Corinth? In the everyday, pagan culture of Corinth, women had head coverings (and you notice from the footnote in the NIV that such coverings could have been long hair in general or actual coverings to the head), recognizing by nature what God says in his Word—that men and women have distinctive callings in life as head and helper. The directive in 1 Corinthians 11 was that the Christian women in Corinth not to be social renegades, but living examples of biblical principles regarding men and women (1 Corinthians 11:3). By mirroring cultural practices that were occasioned by the natural knowledge of God and conscience, the Christian women of Corinth could reinforce that knowledge and display their faith so others could be positively influenced (Matthew 5:16).Answered by James Pope, professor at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn. Pope is a contributing editor to Forward in Christ magazine. He writes the monthly “Light for our path” question and answer column.
Pastor Timothy J. Winkel
2651 Shettler Road
Muskegon, MI 49444
Telephone: 231 777 3011