St. Matthews Church

What to Expect at Worship

A Typical Service at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church

We believe that everyone can benefit from regularly gathering to worship as a group. At St. Matthew’s Lutheran, Jesus Christ is the center of each service as we celebrate the good news that he lived and died for us.  Each week has its own theme as we review these truths from a slightly different angle.  This unique theme will be reflected in the individual week’s hymns, lessons, and prayers.  Regardless of a particular theme, the focus, comfort, and purpose of our worship is always found Jesus Christ.

St. Matthew’s Lutheran services generally last one hour. Provided is a guideline of a typical Sunday of worship to help you gain a better understanding of our services.

Greeting: The pastor offers a morning greeting and discusses the theme of the day.

Opening Hymn: The opening hymn can be found within the worship bulletins provided to everyone at the beginning of the service. The hymn helps set the tone for the service and is related to the theme that day.

Invocation: The congregation is reminded by the pastor of their baptism through the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Confession of Sins: Confession is time where we can publicly confess our sins to God. This is an important step in worship because it reminds us that we are not capable of approaching God by ourselves. Through our confessions, we acknowledge where we fall short. By expressing our need for Christ the Lord, we can better appreciate his work in us. We also confess our sins to receive the promise of God’s forgiveness to us. Our confessions restore our relationship with God and allow us to stand before Him in joyous worship.

Scripture Readings: Each service places special focus on scripture readings, as God’s Word is an important tool that reminds us of our journey of faith. Our services usually includes one reading from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and from the Gospels. These three readings will influence the sermon that day.

Gospel Music & Choral Anthems: The selection of music used in each service serves to enhance the theme of worship that day. The selection are sprinkled in between the readings and confessions. Of these is the Psalm of the Day which is sung to help point us closer to God. We invite the congregation to sing along to the hymns as we praise our Savior as one.

Sermon: The sermon is led by the pastor and is a means to explore the one or more of the passages we read earlier in the service. The word of the Lord is a valuable tool in our Christian faith. Throughout the week, our pastor studies the readings to find its meanings or lessons. Through his sermon, the pastor provides the congregation with this message in a way that we can apply to our own Christian lives.

The Apostles’ Creed: We recite the Apostles Creed as it is a summary of many teachings that God has given us. These words are also a reminder that all believer around the world and throughout history are united in the love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Offering: We partake in offering as a way to share with others the gifts God has given us. As children of God, our thank offerings are gathered and used in the hope that it will help others find the loving and forgiving message of our Savior. We do not ask that visitors be expected to participate in Sunday Offering. Instead, we encourage visitors to gain a better understanding of our church’s values and mission before partaking in offering.

Prayer: We believe as the Bible has taught in the power of prayer, and the importance of praying for those in many types of situations. At St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, we boldly raise our concerns, special prayers, and thanks to the Lord.

Lord’s Prayer: At each service, our Lord gives us confidence to recite this prayer as Jesus himself taught to his own disciples.

Blessing: The blessing dates back more that 3,500 years and is a reminder that we depart with confidence that God has given us his grace, peace, and favor to share with others. With this encouragement from God, we can depart from service with the strength to follow the Word and apply it to our own lives throughout the week.


During the school year (September – May), our worship times are:

  • Saturday nights at 6 pm
  • Sunday at 9 am

Our summer (Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day Weekend) worship schedule is:

  • Saturday nights at 6 pm
  • Sunday mornings at 9 am

We also have special service times during Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter. More information on these worship times will be posted on the monthly calendar during those seasons.

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church is located at 766 West Wabasha, in Winona, MN. We are at the corner of 7th and High Streets.
We have ample street parking along Wabasha Street, as well as the side streets. There is also a small parking lot behind the church.

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church has handicap parking along High Street. Parking is also available directly in front of the church. We have an elevator on the High Street side of the church. We also have a handicap accessable restroom at the back of the church.

Please ask for help if you need assistance with anything. Our ushers and our members will always be happy to assist you.

Be yourself. Come casual or dress up. We have no dress code. Many of our worshipers come in casual clothing, while others put on their Sunday best. We at St. Matthew’s Church believe that God accepts us as we are and that God does not base our worship to Him on how we are dressed.

By our very nature we are all rebels against God. God answered our rebellion (our sin) with love. Jesus Christ lived a perfect sinless life for you (as a substitute for you and all people). Jesus also died on the cross to pay the penalty (which is death) for your sins and for the sins of all people. This foundational truth is emphasized by St. Matthew’s in all of its programs. This is the central theme of our worship. We teach what God says in the Bible. You are encouraged to ask us, “Where is that taught in the Bible?” Every Christian pastor and teacher should welcome that question.

Both our traditional and contemporary worship services focus on what God has to tell us in the Bible. Each service has several readings from the Bible, a sermon, 5-6 songs, and several prayers. As you enter the church, an usher should hand you a bulletin. The bulletin, also called a worship folder, contains the Order of Worship and lists events happening that week at St. Matthew’s. The Order Of Worship helps you follow what is happening during the worship service. Several times the congregation (everyone) will stand to honor God, such as while the Gospel is read from the Bible. Most songs are sung by the entire congregation. Sometimes the congregation reads out loud from the bulletin. You may choose to stand, sing, and read, or not to stand, sing, or read. It is your choice. The contemporary worship features contemporary music, which usually includes guitars, piano, PowerPoint, and lead singers. Each service lasts about 1 hour.

If you wish to participate in the service, just follow what is printed in the worship folder (bulletin) which is given to worshipers as they enter church. During a traditional service, the hymn books (located at each seat) are used for most songs. Most of our songs for the contemporary worship service are printed in the worship folder.

Please feel free to ask any nearby person, “I’m new here. Can you help me?” We really desire to help our guests, including you.

Absolutely. Everyone is welcome to simply come and watch, or to participate in the worship service. We are happy to have you as our guest.

We absolutely do not ask our visitors to stand up and give introductions as some churches do. Our pastor, greeters, ushers, and other worshipers may greet you out of friendliness, but it is up to you whether you have an extended conversation with them. Many of our visitors come several times before they are comfortable enough to have a conversation.

We always welcome children of all ages to join us for worship. It is always good to hear the cries of young children in church. But if you are a little embarrassed by the noise of your children, we do have a “cry room” that is equipped with speakers and a window so you can still take part in the worship service.

We also have a Children’s Sermon and Children’s Church twice a month where your child can go and hear a short gospel message from our pastor, but only if the child would like to. If not, they can hear the gospel message just fine from their seat next to you.

The offering is usually gathered after the sermon. If you are not a member of St. Matthew’s, we do not want you to feel obligated to give an offering. Members gather their offerings in church because the Bible teaches that giving is an act of worship. The vast majority of our church and school ministry is carried out by what is given during our worship services.
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the 2nd and 4th weekends of each month. In keeping with God’s Word, and as a confession of faith, we ask that only members of St. Matthew’s, other WELS or ELS congregation members, or visitors who have spoken about communion with the pastor before worship, come forward to the Lord’s Table.
Children are welcome to attend Sunday School. Sunday School begins at 9:15 am and lasts about an hour. The children meet in the school. We do not have Sunday School during the summer months (June-August). If you would like more information about Sunday School, call the church office at 452-2085.

Bible Class is held every Sunday morning at 9:15 am and lasts about an hour. Please join us for donuts and coffee as we study the Bible. Our summer Bible Class (June-August) begins at 10:15 am and last an hour.