We look forward to having you join us. The information on this page will give you a good sense of what to expect in a service at St. John’s. A few basics:
- We follow the orders of service in The Lutheran Service Book, located under the pews. The page number for the order of service is printed in the weekly bulletin.
- Hymn numbers are in the bulletin and posted in front on both sides of the nave.
- Each service typically begins with the pastors in back of the nave. When the crucifix proceeds down the aisle, you’ll see people bowing as a sign of reverence acknowledging Christ’s presence.
If you’d like additional information before visiting, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our staff members.
Divine Services are held Sundays at 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. For additional details, see our service schedule.
Parking is easy to find around St. John’s. There are two main parking lots, one north of 9th Street and one east of Fillmore (next to the Topeka High parking lot). There are also a number of spaces (several designated as accessible) surrounding the church on both the 9th Street and Fillmore sides.
St. John’s has six public entrances. If you’d like to go directly to the sanctuary, enter the large double doors on the Fillmore Street side or the north door off 9th Street. If you need to find a bathroom or hang a coat or just want to look around, the south entrance on the Fillmore side (the “901” entrance) is your best bet. (This is also a good entrance if you’re arriving close to the start of a service, as clergy gather in the entrance to the nave about five minutes before the service begins.). The church also has an accessible entrance with a ramp to the left of the main double doors. The glass entrance doors on the new addition to the south provide quick access to Luther Hall and the Courtyard.
Bathrooms on the main floor are located in the hallway bordering the Courtyard and across from Luther Hall on the south end of the building.
We love having children in church and encourage you to bring them. If they get a little restless during the service and need a change of scenery, we have a nursery across the hall from the bathrooms located in the hallway south of the Courtyard.
Unless you see a “reserved” sign on a pew (typically in the front for events like baptisms), you’re free to sit anywhere.
There’s no dress code at St. John’s; whatever you wear to church will be just fine. The pictures on this site should give you a good idea of what to expect.
The Divine Service
St. John’s uses the historic liturgy, a traditional form of worship that unites believers throughout the ages. The liturgy, printed in the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), guides worshippers through confession & absolution, God’s Word (readings and the sermon), prayer, song, and communion. You can expect to use both the worship bulletin (available from the ushers) and LSB (located under the pews) throughout the service. For more about worship at St. John’s, click here.
At each service, we ask everyone—members and visitors—to fill out a worship attendance card, located at the ends of the pews. The ushers make one trip up the aisles to collect the offering and a second trip to collect the cards. (If you put the card in the offering plate, no worries. It will get to the right place.)
After the offering and prayers, we typically celebrate communion. St. John’s follows the historic practice of closed communion, limiting participation to those whom the pastor knows have been fully instructed and who share a common confession of faith (i.e., members of St. John’s + visitors from other LCMS churches). In order to ensure the proper administration of the sacrament, we ask that all visitors interested in taking communion notify the pastor before attending the Divine Service.
Coffee, Bible Study, and Sunday School
Between services, coffee is available in the Courtyard. At 9:45, we offer Bible classes for adults, Sunday School for children from pre-school to grade 8 (pre-school to grade 5 held in the classrooms on second floor; grades 6-8 in the basement), and youth Bible study for teens (held in the youth room in the basement). If you need directions to any of these places, just ask!
Wednesday Evening Service
There is a short service on Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. as part of Sound Words Academy, our midweek education program. Feel free to come for dinner, classes, or just Evening Prayer at 7. For more information, visit the Sound Words Academy page.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of St. John’s, please contact one of our pastors. Adult instruction classes are available for those who are new to confessional Lutheranism and would like to learn more.