Worship & Devotions

COVID-19 protocols


We’re building a #biggerTable and all are welcome – newcomers, members and friends. We have in-person and online worship options, see below.

 

Go to: Details on Altar Live, our online worship experience || Simple prep for online, home worship

COVID-19 Protocols

GSLC's COVID-19 protocols are set by our COVID-19 Task Force.


Beginning September 1, 2022, Good Shepherd will be a mask optional space. We welcome anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask to continue doing so.


Our goal has always been to provide a caring community. We’ve kept masking in place to allow time for our youngest members to be able to get fully vaccinated and for City of Alexandria CDC-identified community levels to move to the green level.


To be prepared for the future, we’re also implementing a tiered approach to adapting to changes in CDC community levels:

  • Mask Optional - Green (low community transmission)
  • Mask Recommended - Yellow (medium community transmission)
  • Mask Required - Red (high community transmission)

What can you expect?

  • As a congregation, we’ll continue to receive communion at the rail with wine in individual cups.
  • We can have meals and social activities with food inside our space. We’re excited to move toward holding more gatherings and events as a community.
  • Pastor Kate will continue to send notifications when we learn that someone present in worship or at a Good Shepherd event tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information about community transmissions levels and guidance, visit the CDC website.


If you have questions, feel free to reach out to Pastor Kate or any other member of the COVID-19 Task Force (Sue Cottrol, Lori Strauss, Denise Steene).

Simple Preparations for Online, Home Worship

You may want to light a candle for worship.


We’ll celebrate Holy Communion even when we're apart.

  • For most people having the physical elements of communion available will mean a piece of bread or cracker and a cup of wine, grape juice or water. Gluten-free bread or crackers are also welcome.
  • You don't need anything fancy to celebrate. Jesus used the most common and basic foods to bless so that Holy Communion would be accessible to all. 

During worship, Pastor Kate will speak the comforting words, “In the night in which He was betrayed…”

  • The bread and wine you have at home will be tangible signs of God's promise to be present in, with and under the elements of Holy Communion.
  • We receive this meal and the forgiveness, grace and love it brings as an act of faith.
  • We trust that God will be where God has promised to meet us, transcending physical boundaries during the pandemic and beyond.

GSLC communion bread recipe | Making GSLC communion bread (video)

About Morning Prayer

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we've gathered on Zoom for Morning Prayer at 9 AM on weekdays (and occasionally Saturdays). We use a form for prayer based on ancient liturgies, called Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. This liturgy grew out of The Simple Way community in inner Philadelphia, led by Shane Claiborne, and is used by faith communities around the world.


Lisa Howard runs our technology and leads the liturgy. Brenda Froberg crafts prayers reflecting the prayers of our community, the world and observances of the day. Bill Susling offers or curates music.


All are welcome, whether occasionally or regularly. Prayer request can be sent to Lisa regardless of attendance.

What Morning Prayer Means to Us

An uplifting start each morning

We are grateful to Pastor Jen for having started a fixed time for group daily prayer at the start of the pandemic and for continuing it until her departure. We are so very privileged to have continued this practice.


Words cannot adequately describe how uplifting it is to start mornings in the company of this band of "prayer warriors." It is a blessing to be able to pray for, on behalf of, and with individual family members and friends, as well as for members of our congregation and the church community as a whole. It is also empowering to have the opportunity to lift our collective voice along with that of fellow believers across the country, and around the globe, in support of the marginalized, the outcast, the poor, and on specially designated days of recognition.


Everyone is welcome to join this daily ministry whenever they can. Feel free to email prayer requests. We look forward to continuing to serve Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in this ministry as long as there continues to be a need.

In Gratitude,

Brenda Froberg and Lisa Howard


Community in this powerful, welcoming group

Nate and I moved to Alexandria from MacDill AFB in Florida. We are a military family and have moved quite often. However, this move was unique in that it was at the onset of the pandemic. The stress of moving to a new place with no friends or family was difficult. I was looking for churches in the area and was excited to find Good Shepherd Lutheran Church with the offering of a daily prayer group.


I started attending the prayer group via Zoom and immediately felt uplifted and encouraged. I feel a strong sense of community within this powerful, welcoming group. The daily routine of the group: reading scripture, fellowship, and lifting our fellow beings up in prayer is now foundational to my daily life. It has led to my growth and evolution of connection and faith.


I am sincerely grateful for the group and know miracles have happened as a result of these daily prayers.

Thanks so much for what you do!

Lisa "Kitty" B

Worship

Sept.-June schedule

In-person and online

Sundays at 8:30, 9:45 and 11 AM

Sunday School at 9:45 AM (starts in worship, leads directly to education time)

In-person and online


What will I experience in worship at Good Shepherd?

  • A community of people who are passionate about growing in faith and reaching into the community around us with the love of God embodied by Jesus.
  • Worship that is joyful, inspiring and relevant to your life today.

Is there any difference among the worship services?

  • The 8:30 AM and 11 AM services (Sept. - June)

    ...tend to follow a more traditional liturgy that varies by church season (we change it up every six to eight weeks or so) and often includes the ancient form of chanting. The adult choir usually sings at the 11 AM service.

  • The 9:45 AM service  (Sept. - June)

    ...is more casual in nature. Children begin in worship with their families and hear an opening prayer, gospel reading and children’s message before going to Sunday School. Some children choose to stay in worship rather than attend Sunday School and that’s okay too. This service usually uses the piano for accompaniment rather than organ.


    On the fourth Sunday of the month, there’s no Sunday School and children remain with their families in worship. They also take worship leadership roles by reading Bible texts, helping to serve communion, collecting offering, etc.

  • Summer worship

    In July and August, we have one 10 AM worship service each Sunday. These tend to be a blend between the traditional and casual. There’s always a communion meal and children’s message. We often have special music in the summertime.

  • All worship services

    ...follow a pattern of worship that includes singing, prayer, Bible readings, a sermon, communion meal, receiving offering and a children’s message. Occasionally, members of the congregation or others share a faith story as part of our worship. Services are about an hour long.

Children in Worship

At Good Shepherd we believe that worship is for all God’s children. Infants to children of every age are welcome to fully participate in worship, and parents with young ones can feel comfortable knowing that the sounds of children are part of our joyful praise.


Nevertheless, some parents prefer that their younger children be cared for in a nursery setting during worship. We have a staffed nursery during the 9:45 AM service (10 AM in July and August).


Go to additional details

What is Communion?

Every week when we gather, we participate in Holy Communion, sometimes called Holy Eucharist. As we share in bread and wine, we believe that Christ is truly present in the sacrament and among us.


We welcome all baptized persons to join us for communion as they are comfortable doing so.

Baptism

What do I do if I would like to be baptized or have my child baptized?


That’s easy – talk to Pastor Jen! She typically meets at home with those desiring baptism for conversation about what baptism is (and isn’t!)


Baptisms are public acts done in the midst of a worship service so the one who is baptized experiences the love and prayers of the faith community they’re entering into.


We schedule baptisms throughout the year at any of the worship services on a mutually-convenient Sunday.