We enter into God’s kingdom as disciples of Jesus and join the church and the congregation through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. In Baptism God reaches through the veil that separates this world from God’s realm and makes us children of God and heirs of eternal life. Once a child of God always a child of God so we do not re-baptize those who have been baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit regardless of the Christian denomination in which the baptism took place. In Holy Baptism God establishes a relationship that is much like a parent/child relationship with each of us. God promises never to break that relationship. The only way for that relationship to be broken is if you personally reject Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
If you wish to be baptized, contact the pastor. It is important that your baptismal faith be nurtured so it is expected that you will be an active member of a Christian congregation if you are baptized.
As Lutherans, we believe that God will establish this baptismal relationship with infants and children and encourage Christian parents to have their children baptized. If you desire to have your child baptized at Estherville Lutheran Church please contact the pastor.
Beginning Sunday School / Jesus and Me (JAM)
For almost 200 years Christian congregations have been providing Christian education on Sundays for children. Estherville Lutheran’s Sunday School has a long history, and we invite you to bring your children to our Sunday School / JAM. JAM begins each week during the fall, winter, and spring months on Wednesdays from 5:30 – 6:30 PM. A light meal is served. JAM is intended for 3-year-olds through 6th grade. Please bring your kids to join in the fun.
Receiving the First Bible
In Holy Baptism of children, parents, sponsors, and the congregation promise God that when the child is old enough, “they will place in their hands the Holy Scriptures.” In fulfillment of this promise, every fall we give to the children who are in the 3rd grade their first Bible. The pastor and Youth and Family Board will pick an easy-to-read translation and a children’s edition that is appropriate. During one of the worship services each fall these Bibles will be presented to the students who are enrolled in Sunday School.
This congregation encourages students to begin taking communion by the time they are in the 5th grade. Each fall the pastor will conduct a First Communion class for those in the 5th grade or older who have not taken it. If you desire your child to take communion at a younger age or if your child wishes to take communion before this age, please speak with the pastor. Holy Communion is a meal for all the baptized people of God and there is no theological reason why children under the age of ten cannot take communion but Lutheran tradition has been for children to wait until they are in the fifth grade.
Confirmation classes are offered for 7th and 8th-grade students to prepare them to take responsibility for their spiritual lives. At the time of baptism, parents and sponsors assume the responsibility for the spiritual life of infants or small children until they are old enough to take this responsibility for themselves. Confirmation training and the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism transfer this responsibility from the parents and sponsors to the young person. Confirmation classes also prepare the students to be adult members of the congregation and following the Rite of the Affirmation of Baptism they are voting members of the congregation.
The program is usually two years long. Instruction in the Bible and Luther’s Small Catechism are always a part of Confirmation classes. The classes are on Wednesday. It is expected that the students will worship regularly at the weekend services and participate in youth activities and service projects at Estherville Lutheran Church.
The Christian Church has throughout its history blessed the marriages of its members. The wedding service is first and foremost a worship service and so music is used that are appropriate for worship. Many times persons who are not members of a congregation have asked to be married in the church. Each congregation and pastor has different guidelines for these situations. Estherville Lutheran Church will host non-member weddings as long as the pastor of the congregation or another ELCA pastor is officiating.
If you wish to explore the possibility of being married at Estherville Lutheran Church read through the Wedding Planner and then contact the pastor and/or the church office.
The Christian Church has conducted funerals for its members and others in the community throughout its existence. Estherville Lutheran Church, its staff, and its members are willing to come to your assistance during these difficult times of life. Funerals are usually held at the church for members of Estherville Lutheran Church and for the family of our members. The pastor is usually willing to conduct funerals at the church or the funeral home for non-members if he is available.
If you would like to have a funeral at Estherville Lutheran Church or have the pastor conduct a funeral at the funeral home for a loved one, either contact the church directly or have the funeral director contact us.