St. Paul Lutheran Church, Reading, OH

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Each Sunday service is livestreamed. Here’s some of our most recent services:

Find us

We are centrally located just a block from the Bridal District in Reading, Ohio.
106 Maple St.
Reading, OH 45215
(Set your GPS to 126 Willow Street, Reading, to go to our parking lot)
Sunday School
Adult Bible Study
9 am
9 am
10:30 am
The front of the church during Sunday worship

We gather on Sunday to worship the Triune God and to be nurtured in faith by God’s Word given to us through the Bible and through the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). You might discover that the way St. Paul Lutheran Church expresses this worship differs from other congregations. If you feel a little flustered your first time, don’t give up. Like riding a bike, the worship pattern becomes easier the more one practices. Here is a little about what to expect and why we do it:

What to Expect in Worship

You can follow along with the worship service using either a bulletin or the projection screen, whichever you prefer.

Paper bulletins are available at the entry door of the sanctuary (the room with the cross, stained-glass windows, pews, and organ). The bulletin will contain the words of the service and some of the music as well. Read this bulletin like you would a book (left to right, top to bottom, front to back). Think of it like a program at a concert, a playbill at a play, or a user’s-guide manual. The bulletin makes it possible for us all to participate in worship.

The projection screen at the front of the sanctuary also displays the music and words we say or sing together. (The projection screen is used for all Sunday morning services, but sometimes is turned off for special occasions such as evening services or weddings/funerals.)

Sung and Spoken Responses between Leaders and Congregation: Throughout worship, you will notice that the worship leaders and congregation speak or sing responses to each other. This allows us all to participate in worshipping God through song and prayer. In the bulletin, any print in bold type preceded by the letter “C” is meant for you to say together with the rest of the congregation sitting in the pews. “P” stands for “Pastor,” “A” for “Assisting Minister,” and “L” for “Leader.”

Hymns are songs which we sing to praise, thank, and ask for help from God in response to Scripture. We use several different hymnals which contain these songs and can be found in the seat-back box in front of you. The hymns are noted by name and number in the bulletin and slides, and are in numerical order in the hymnals. When it is time for a hymn, open to the hymnal number indicated or follow along on the projection screen—the music is available in both places. There is no judgement about musical ability or expression here—feel free to make a joyful noise or to cry out to God in whatever manner you feel moved.

Jesus welcomes children, and we welcome children to worship with great joy! To express our value for children, children participate in leading and serving during worship, and are invited forward for a Children’s Sermon, during which the pastor applies the Scripture readings to kids’ lives.

We encourage families to keep their children in worship; there are activity bags for younger children and Bible-based word puzzles on clipboards for older children in the entryway (narthex) to help make worship engaging. There is a nursery is available just outside the sanctuary where you and your child may listen to worship while playing.

If your child has gone through educational training and received Holy Communion before, he/she is welcome to receive the wafer and wine or grape juice. Otherwise, please bring your children forward with you for a special blessing or make the sign of the cross on their forehead and say “You are a child of God.”

Confession and Forgiveness: We start worship by acknowledging (confessing) that we have sinned—we have not done what God asks us to do, we have hurt others, and we have hurt ourselves. God responds to us with a promise as spoken through the Pastor, that we are forgiven and given a fresh start. We start worship this way so that we can leave behind everything that weighs us down, and so that we learn to start every day and every conversation by asking forgiveness from God and from others.

Greeting and Opening Music: The service begins with the pastor and congregation greeting one another, and joining in several songs of praise to God.

Scripture Readings: You will hear passages from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Bible is God’s living word. God speaks, heals, forgives, convicts, and gives hope and encouragement through it. Listen for God’s Word for you today.

Prayers: We pray many times during worship because faith is a relationship with God. God’s Word—who is Jesus Christ—is read in the Scriptures, proclaimed in the preached Word of the sermon, announced in the forgiveness of sins, eaten and drunk in the Holy Communion, and encountered in the presence of the Christian community. We respond to all that God does for us during worship through prayer by asking for the forgiveness, guidance, and strength to do what God asks of us.

Confessing Faith with a Creed: In response to the Scripture readings, we say that we believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit using the words from the Apostles’, Nicene, or Athanasian Creeds. These are creeds that Lutherans think accurately describe who the Triune God is and what God does for all people; these creeds are shared with many other Christians throughout the centuries. When we say, “Holy catholic Church,” that is referring to the whole, universal Church—all Christians—throughout the world because the Holy Spirit sustains all Christians’ relationship with Jesus and with each other. It does not mean the Roman Catholic Church alone. Saying the creeds aloud gives us practice sharing our faith so that we are ready to tell others who God is during our lives the rest of the week.

Passing the Peace: When Jesus was raised from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and said, “Peace be with you” (John 20; Luke 24:36). The “Peace” is time for us to give each other God’s blessing of peace and to ask forgiveness if we have wronged each other before we go to commune with God and receive his forgiveness at Holy Communion. You can shake hands, hug, or wave—whatever is comfortable for you—and say, “Peace be with you” because you are being Jesus for others and they are being Jesus for you in this moment.

Offering: Scripture makes it clear that we own nothing—everything that we have is entrusted to us by God. God asks us to give freely of what he has first given us so that others’ physical and spiritual needs may be met and so the Church can continue the mission of helping all people know Jesus Christ. In response to God’s command to share money, ushers may collect an offering of money during worship. If not, you may place your donation in the wooden box in the entryway labeled “offerings & donations” after worship. You will hear music because God asks us to offer our talents—like singing or playing instruments—to worship him and to help others experience God through us. This part of worship is called “Offering” because we are offering ourselves, our time, our talents, and our money to worship God.

Holy Communion: There are many names for this part of worship: it is the Lord’s Supper because Jesus shared one last meal with his disciples before his crucifixion and he is the host of this meal who invites you to eat and drink. It is called Holy Communion because the Holy, Triune God is present with us and so are all Christians who have died. Although you cannot see him, Jesus is really present here in worship today. He is with, under, and in the bread and wine and/or grape juice offering himself—his love, his life, his forgiveness—to everyone in worship. In most worship services, we kneel at the altar rail when the usher directs us forward; sometimes, we take the bread and wine at standing stations up front or with individual cups at our seats. Use this time for self-reflection and prayer. When you hear the Assisting Minister, Leader, or Pastor say, “This is my body given for you, this is my blood shed for you,” it is Jesus speaking directly to you.

We are all sent with God’s blessing into the world: having been nurtured by his Word and Meal, we now are sent to care for, nurture, and encourage others by sharing the Word we have heard and by serving them with acts of kindness, mercy, and love so that others know Jesus.

After communion, the service closes with announcements, a parting blessing, a final hymn, and dismissal.

  • Lutherans are Christians who believe in the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who created the universe and all that is in it.
  • Salvation (eternal life) is by grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone–God gives the gift of eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, and God creates faith so that we can trust this promise.
  • The Bible is the Living Word of God: when believers gather for worship and Bible study, God is present and speaks through scripture to guide us and to sustain faith.
  • We are to respond to God’s love in Jesus Christ by welcoming and accepting all people, by valuing others and their God-given gifts, by seeking to live ethically with integrity, by showing hospitality, and by advocating for justice and peace in the world.
  • Baptism and Holy Communion are sacraments–the means of grace–by which God is truly present in worship to end harmful ways of living, forgive us, and strengthen faith so that we may seek to live as Jesus Christ for the sake of the world which God so loves.

For more on our core values and mission statement, click here.

For more on Lutheran teaching and theology, click here.

Getting Here



We can also be reached on Cincinnati’s Metro bus route 43. The closest bus stop is at the corner of Reading and Maple streets, about a block east of the church.