First Time Visitors

Bethel welcomes visitors to worship with us! We hope this page will answer your questions and help you know what to expect. We look forward to meeting you!

When is worship?

We worship on Sunday mornings, see our calendar for the most accurate information for a particular Sunday. (Worship services are identified on the calendar as “Holy Communion.”)

Where can I park?

We have on-site parking, including a few spaces designated for visitors (enter the lot from Forsyth Blvd). If the lot is full, you may also park:

  • On Forsyth Blvd both east and west of Big Bend Blvd.
  • On Lindell (north of Forsyth), access via Asbury one block west of the church.

See more detailed information on getting to Bethel and parking.

How do I get to Bethel using MetroLink?

Take the Shrewsbury (blue line) MetroLink to the Big Bend stop. Walk south up Big Bend four blocks (500 yards) and you will see Bethel on the corner of Big Bend and Forsyth Blvd.

See more detailed information on getting to Bethel.

Is the church wheelchair accessible? What about accommodations for people with hearing or visual impairments?

Yes, there is an elevator just inside the door to the education building at the northeast corner of the parking lot. There is also space for wheelchairs next to a few pews on the left aisle of the church. If you have difficulty walking up for Holy Communion, please alert an usher and the Pastor will bring Holy Communion to you in the pews.

Large print worship booklets are available for people with visual impairments, and the worship leaders’ words are amplified to assist people with hearing impairments.

What should I wear to worship?

Wear what you’re comfortable with — you’ll see a wide range of dress styles at Bethel, from jeans and t-shirts, to suits and ties or dresses.

Are children welcome in worship?

YES! For children attending worship, we offer busy-bags (with crayons & puzzles), The Little Lutheran magazines, and children’s bulletins in the Narthex. There is also a cry room down the stairs off the Narthex where the service can still be heard. Ask an usher if you need help finding a room or anything else you need.

What should I expect during worship?

If you have attended services at another Lutheran or a Catholic, Presbyterian, or Episcopal church, you should feel right at home; those with experience at any Christian or Jewish service should also find it familiar. Ushers give everybody a worship booklet outlining each portion of the service and indicating when the assembly should stand and when to sit down. There will usually be

  • Speakers reading selections from the Bible
  • Liturgical music to sing (printed in the worship booklet)
  • Hymns to sing (found in the red hymnal at your seat; the worship booklet indicates the hymn number)
  • A sermon by the pastor, elaborating on the readings and showing how they represent good news for all of us
  • Prayers led by the presiding minister (usually the pastor) or assisting minister
  • The passing of the peace, in which we greet one another in the peace of Christ. You may simply greet people with the word “Peace” or shake hands as you feel comfortable.
  • The Communion meal, where everyone is invited to come forward in turn to receive the bread and wine (or grape juice)

Do I have to sing? Do I have to take Communion?

There are no “have tos” in our worship service. You are invited to participate in as much of the service as you feel comfortable with. We understand the actions of worship as corporate actions of the gathered assembly, but you are most welcome to be present even if you do not participate in these actions, such as standing, singing, responding to the prayers, and taking communion.

I have Celiac Disease or an intolerance to gluten. Can I still take communion? We generally have gluten-free wafers available; simply let the pastor know. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to commune under only one element (the bread or the wine) for health reasons.

I cannot drink alcohol or I have a sensitivity to sulfites. Can I still take communion? Grape juice is generally available in the trays. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to commune under only one element (the bread or the wine) for health reasons.

Will I be singled out during worship? Will I have to introduce myself?

You will not be singled out during worship, and we do not ask first-time visitors to stand or introduce themselves during worship. There is often a fellowship time after worship and we invite you to join us and meet other worshippers. There is also a Guest Book in the narthex if you’d like us to send you more information about Bethel. We’re glad to have you worship with us, and hope to see you again!

Jessica WhiteFirst Time Visitors