New Here?

  New Here?  
Dear Friend,
     If you are visiting this page, you probably have questions and are looking for answers.  We understand that it can be hard to visit a new church for the first time.  You might be asking yourself:
  • "What should I wear?"
  • "What can I expect during worship?"
  • "What about the offering?"
  • "What if my children make too much noise?"
  • "Is St. Matthew's associated with a larger church body?"
These and a whole host of other "unknowns" can make visiting a church for the first time seem very intimidating.

We hope this page will answer some of the questions you might have before you visit our church.  This guide exists to help you, our guest, as you consider visiting our congregation.

    What should I wear?
  • Our members and visitors dress in a variety of ways.  Some come in their favorite pair of jeans and a comfortable t-shirt.  Others prefer to go "business casual" with khakis and a polo shirt.  Still others enjoy wearing their "Sunday best" and pull out their dresses or suits. 

    Where is the church located?
  • St. Matthew's Lutheran Church and School is located in Stoddard, WI.  Stoddard is 7 miles south of La Crosse and can be reached by traveling south on US-35 S.  Our mailing address is:

    303 N. Main Street
    Stoddard WI 54658
    Where should I park?
  • St. Matthew's has a parking lot located right next to the church.  If the parking lot is full, street parking is available.
    Where do I enter the building?
  • The main entrance for our church is found by the carport.  As you walk through the double set of glass doors, you will find yourself in our fellowship hall.  The sanctuary is immediately to your right.
    Will my children be welcome at worship?
  • We welcome people of all ages at our worship services.  Many of our families with young children prefer to sit towards the back, so they can easily move to the fellowship hall if need be.  We also have a mother's room with a rocking chair, a couch, a bassinet, and some toys.
    What can I expect during worship?
    • The worship service is printed out each week in our worship folder, which you will recieve as you enter the sanctuary.  You will also find a brief explanation of the worship theme for that particular Sunday.  All the congregation's spoken or sung "responses" can be found in the worship folder.  You'll also find the Scripture lessons and the sermon information for the day.

      All our services focus on readings from God's Word - the Bible.  Music and singing also play important parts of our worship.  Loud or soft, in monotone or rich harmony, traditional or contemporary, all our music praises the Lord.  Our worship uses traditional forms blended with contemporary songs, modern language, and life application.  This "blended" style of worship brings out the best from God's Church throughout the ages, while the contemporary utilizes the best of what is being produced today.  We hope you enjoy both as we worship our gracious Lord together!

      Our worship services usually include the following parts in a variety of ways:
      • The Invocation - We call on the name of the triune God as we come to worship him.
      • Admitting Sins and Receiving Forgiveness - We acknowledge that we have not been or done everything God asks.  Then we are assured of forgiveness in Jesus.
      • Bible Readings - We read selections from God's Old Testament prophets, Jesus' apostles, and from Jesus himself.  Our pastor also gives a brief explanation of each lesson.
      • Sermon - Our Pastor offers instruction and encouragement in a Christ-centered message based on one of the lessons read in the service.  You can expect to hear God's guidance and grace for dealing with life's problems, as well as the promise of eternal life in heaven through the world's only Savior, Jesus Christ.
      • Response to the Word - We respond with offerings and prayers for the things he has promised to us and for strength to do what he has asked.
      • Prayers - Our worship gives us the opportunity to pray for our members, our church, our nation, and our world.  Prayer requests are welcomed!
      • Parting Blessing - Before we return home for the week, we hear one last assurance of the Lord's gracious care.
    What about the offering?
  • Our members bring offerings to God through their church.  These offerings give them the opportunity not only to show love to Christ, but also to support the work of the congregation as we bring the Good News of Christ's love to more people.  Since offerings are gifts of love for God, no one can dictate what an individual is to give.

    St. Matthew's passes an offering plate during the service (following the sermon) so that our worship may include bringing gifts to God.  Many of our members use offering envelopes to keep their gifts a private matter known only to the Lord.

    As our guest, we do not expect you to contribute an offering, nor do we want to pressure you into doing so.  You may wish to learn more about our ministry before bringing your offerings to God through our church, but you are welcome to participate as your heart leads you to give.