Frequently asked questions…
Do I have to dress up?
Absolutely not! If you visit, you will see people in suits or dresses as well as people in jeans and even shorts. All are welcome to come as they please.
May I just come and see?
We welcome visitors, and we do not wish to place any expectations upon you. You are welcome to come to church to see what life is like in our community. If you sign our guest register, you might receive a courtesy contact by mail from one of our members or staff after a visit. We will thank you for your visit and inquire if you have further questions. Ultimately, we desire only to help you discern the congregation to which God is calling you to, whether at Messiah or another faith community. It is important that you find a faith community where you are not only comfortable but are also spiritually fed.
What if I’m not a Christian?
EVERYONE IS WELCOME! We are prepared to meet you wherever you are in your search for meaning and God. Ask questions and share your doubts and struggles with faith. It is unlikely that you are the only one to have ever felt that way. We won’t badger you, but instead, we encourage you to explore the Christian faith as you feel comfortable in doing. We have lots of reading material, video resources, and small group activities to offer to help you on your journey. The “Beliefs” section has helpful information and links.
Do I have to stand up in front of people?
Some churches ask visitors to stand up and introduce themselves to the congregation. While we applaud their desire to get to know their guests, we recognize some people may not be comfortable doing this. Our congregation is a community of very warm and welcoming members. We are sure you will come to know those who are around your seat in worship. Please feel free to ask them any questions you might have about our worship and community.
Will I know what to do during the Church Service?
As Lutherans, we believe the congregation should actively participate in our worship. It is a foundation of faith for everything we do. Our worship bulletin has information in it about when we stand, when we sit, what songs we sing, and even the day’s scripture passages and announcements. This is done to make worship with us as simple and easy to follow as possible. We are a liturgical church, which means we follow worship practices dating back to the earliest Christians. These practices are shared by many other modern Christian denominations. Among our many rituals and worship styles used, we practice two sacraments commanded by Christ, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe these serve as a means of grace. If you would like to learn more about our liturgy, our other rituals or the sacraments, please ask our pastor by calling 804-746-7134 or email MessiahMechPR@gmail.com. You might also like to explore the ELCA’s worship pages.
Are my children welcome?
All children are welcome in our community for all worship services, programs, and fellowship. We offer professional nursery care if you prefer to have a safe place to care for your child during an event or if he/she should need a break. Our second “family friendly service” offers Gospel Fun Time, a short children’s church activity offered at the time of the sermon. Children return in time for communion or a blessing. In addition to worship, we have Sunday school classes for all ages beginning at 9:15 am (September – June). Vacation Bible School and other events are offered for children and youth throughout the year.
How do I request prayers?
You may ask for prayers by phone (804-746-7134), in person, or e-mail us at MessiahMech@gmail.com.
How do I arrange to be married at Messiah Lutheran Church?
Call our Office Administrator (804-746-7134 or email MessiahMech@gmail.com) to check availability of dates and clergy. Our pastor will then schedule a meeting with you to review our wedding related policies and initiate premarital counseling with the couple.
How do I become a member of Messiah Lutheran Church?
You may become a member through baptism (for unbaptized persons), transfer (for Lutherans changing congregations or for those from denominations in full communion with the ELCA) or affirmation of faith (for baptized Christians from other non-Lutheran communities of faith). Depending upon the situation, you will meet with the pastor alone or as part of an orientation class. Information about the Lutheran faith as well as Messiah Lutheran’s shared ministry and fellowship is provided during this process. Contact our pastor at MessiahMechPR@gmail.com if you have any questions.
How do I find out about being baptized?
Please contact our Pastor about baptism and what it means by calling 804-746-7134 or email MessiahMechPR@gmail.com. Our pastor will then arrange for a personal visit, offering helpful information and materials for this baptismal journey. A date for the baptism will be set during this process. Lutherans baptize infants, youth and adults.
What does being “Lutheran” mean?
As Christians called Lutherans, we believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We are named after Martin Luther, a 16th century monk and preacher, who began a worldwide reformation of the church. This period of reform, commonly called the Reformation, began what is known as Protestantism. Luther came to understand from scripture that we can do nothing to earn our way into heaven. Salvation is a gift through the works of Jesus Christ alone. As created beings called by God, even faith is ultimately a gift. Because we are forgiven and loved, we are called to respond in love. We do not love God and others to get into heaven or to be loved more. We are called to love out of thanksgiving for that love we have already received. The early Lutheran reformers did not wish to start a new church. They hoped only to reform the abuses of their contemporary Christian church and to live a life according to their understanding of scripture. Thus today, many Lutheran bodies remain very ecumenical. Lutheran denominations and independent congregations span the globe. Our congregation is a part of the Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a national church body of 5 million people and the largest Lutheran denomination within the United States. You can learn more about Lutheranism around the world from visiting the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF now has 140 member churches in 79 countries all over the world representing over 68.5 million Christians. More can be learned about our congregation, denomination and Lutheranism by exploring the links in the “Beliefs” section of our website. If you have more questions, please contact our pastor at by calling 804-746-7134 or email MessiahMechPR@gmail.com.