Life Together

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Acts 2:42

As redeemed sinners washed in baptism and united to Christ and his body, the church, we gain sustenance from the Word, flesh, and blood of Christ himself. And flowing from this liturgical and sacramental life of the church is love for each other, living life together, and good works of mercy and care. The crucified, risen, and ascended Christ is gathering to himself a people from every tribe and tongue through the church, which is continually devoted to “the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Below is a general description of the ways we facilitate and foster this type of life together:

Divine Service and Christian Education Hour – Each Sunday, our life together finds its source in the Word and Sacrament. With clear, biblical preaching on the whole counsel of God, you will be challenged and strengthened with the life-giving Word of Christ, proclaimed by the pastor. The service is brought to its rightful apex each week in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, where we receive the true flesh and blood of Christ into our very bodies, strengthening us, forgiving us, remaking us in his image as a foretaste of the eternal feast in the new kingdom.

Catechism Wednesdays and Evening Prayer Service – Each Wednesday, we come together for catechesis. Those gathered include confirmation students, their parents, and other members of the church–young and old. We take an inter-generational and family-integrated approach to catechesis because this is the way God designed us to flourish: within family units where the life of faith is taught and practiced in the home, and reinforced and enhanced in the life of the church through the ministry of the pastor. When churches age-segregate every event and teaching opportunity, we isolate ourselves from each other and from the wisdom and gifts of each generation. After sharing a meal together and participating in family-integrated catechesis, we conclude the night with a service of Evening Prayer, also called the Service of Light, in the sanctuary.

Tuesday Bible Study – Each Tuesday from September through May, all are welcome to join in a Bible study where we dive deeply into God’s Holy Word. We eat together at 11:30 (bring your own lunch), and then study the Word from 12:00 to 1:00 PM. We are currently studying the Psalms, diving into one Psalm per week, and finding rich treasures of Law, of Gospel, and of Christ therein.

Seasonal Advent and Lenten Midweek Services – Our life’s rhythms are meant to resonate with the rhythms of Christ’s life, as re-lived each year in the church calendar. Here we find a reprieve from the endless rat-race of the secular schedule and are ushered into the Christ’s time. He is the one who came in the fullness of time, reinterpreting and reorienting all of time around himself, the world’s rightful King. Before these services, we also share a meal together.

Adult Instruction Courses – Usually 2 to 3 times a year, we offer a unique adult catechesis course that combines a survey of the whole Bible with instruction in what we teach, according to the Bible, in the Lutheran church. We encourage all non-members who would like to join All Saints to attend this 12-week course. Current members who would like a refresher course are also invited to attend. Child care is provided upon request.

Carolina Confessional Lutherans (CCL) – Faithful Christians need each other. To sharpen one another theologically and build relationships, CCL consists of pastors and laypeople in North and South Carolina and beyond who gather to supportand learn from one another. This is done through educational opportunities, conferences, and retreats designed to encourage and strengthen the faithful. Each month, All Saints hosts a theological conference for pastors and laity called Loci, and each year the CCL hosts a retreat called Sunago. For more details, check out the CCL homepage.

Youth Activities – The teenage years are a time for continued worship, catechesis, and relationship-building. We involve families and youth together, doing a variety of events that include a mixture of worship, learning, and activities. The goal is to help youth make the transition into adult participation in the church, not separate them out. Each year, the youth also attend a Higher Things summer conference.

Acolytes and Junior Altar Guild – Young men need brotherhoods and young women need sisterhoods. As part of our confirmation program, the young men of our congregation serve as acolytes, learning the reverence and decorum around the holy things, in preparation for a life of service in the church. In a parallel fashion, the young women of our congregation serve on the Junior Altar Guild, learning to lovingly prepare the elements for Holy Communion, in preparation for their life in the church as well.

Caring for the Congregation Committee – This committee exists to help organize, foster, and facilitate care for one another in the congregation. Finding inspiration in the early church’s works of mercy and care, we want to care for our congregation as well. This takes the form of individualized care dependent on the specific needs of members of the congregation of any age. Forms of care include prayer, encouragement, visitation, meals, transportation, and other needs of body and soul. The committee does not “do” the care necessarily, but helps connect members of the congregation desiring to serve with those members who are in need. This is a work of the whole church.

LWML – The women of All Saints are actively involved in the support of mission through local events and international missions support. Through a variety of fundraisers in which the whole congregation participates, we support the Word and Sacrament ministry of LCMS missionaries and the work of Bible translators around the globe.

Bro ‘N’ Mow – The men of All Saints do the bulk of maintenance and landscaping of the church property. This provides not only an opportunity for service and stewardship of our property, but also a time for developing friendships and a brotherhood of sorts.

Men’s Group – This group exists to help men of the congregation connect and build friendships with one another. This group is open to all of our men, from the youngest to the oldest. Our goals include giving our youth members a chance to interact with each other and with adults who can be positive male role models.

Choir – Worship at All Saints centers on the Word and Sacrament, and is supported by liturgical song and faithful sacred music and hymnody from throughout the history of the church. From the hymns of Ambrose and the Liturgy of St. James, to the hymns of Luther and Gerhardt, to the works of Bach and Handel, to the hymns of Franzmann and Starke, we sing the faith as a congregation. The choir sings periodically to support the congregation liturgically. The choir is not a performing group, but a liturgical assistant.

Vacation Bible School – Each summer, All Saints hosts a one-day VBS on a Saturday. Much as with catechesis, this is a family event. We want children and parents to learn together, worship together, and have fun together. There are teaching sessions for children and adults, and games, crafts, and more throughout the day.

Oktoberfest – Each October, we host an Oktoberfest that features fun activities, food, friendship, raffles, and silent auctions.

Periodic Bible Studies – From time to time or seasonally, there are various women’s Bible studies or men’s Bible studies that meet for a time to study a specific book or book of the Bible.