Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I have to be a Lutheran to attend church services?
No, anyone is welcome to worship with us from any tradition

2. Is there a need to dress up if I come to church?
No, even among our parishioners the attire varies.

3. What is the difference between your Saturday night(6:00 pm) and Sunday service(8:45 am)
While the format of each of the services is the same, Saturday evening tends to be more informal using a more contemporary setting of a service of Holy Communion from the blue Hymnal supplement With One Voice. Sunday Service is a traditional service of Holy Communion from the 1978 green hymnal (Lutheran Book of Worship). Participants and leaders use an order of worship that has been with the church for a long time. Worship includes hymns, prayers, reading of Scripture, a sermon based on at least one of the Bible Reading appointed for that day and sharing of Holy Communion.

4. You said communion? What do you believe about that? Do I have to be a member or a Lutheran to take communion?
We Lutherans believe that the bread and the” wine” are truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion. Young children if they have had proper instruction in a previous church or have gone through our preparation for children in fifth grade may also take communion. If you have younger children who have not been prepared please bring them with you anyway that they might receive a blessing. 

5. I am a recovering alcoholic? I do not drink. I take medication that does not go well with alcohol. What do I do about the wine?
 At every public celebration of Holy Communion, we offer both grape juice as well as red wine.  Here at St. James the grape juice will always be offered first followed by the wine.  It is your choice when you come to take communion.

6. Do I take communion in my seat or do I come forward?
Communion is received when an usher escorts you forward, and you and the group     with you form a semi-circle around the altar. First you will receive the bread then someone will come next with either a cup to dip the wafer in or a tray with small glasses depending on the services. Remember if you wish to have wine please wait for the third person to come to you.  After you have communed please wait since the pastor gives the group a blessing and dismissal before they go back to their seats.

7. How do I participate in the service?
Our service has an order based on the historic order of the church throughout the ages. Sometimes responses from the congregation are spoken, sometimes sung. Our green “Lutheran book of Worship”, Holy Communion Setting II is our primary resource for worship on Sundays. On Saturday evening we use the blue soft cover “With One Voice”. To help you find your place, there is a printed order on the outside cover of the bulletin, and pages will be announced by the pastor or worship leader. 

8. I’ve seen your church and have visited. I have a child who needs to be baptized, how do I find out about that? Do I have to be a member to get my child baptized?
You do not have to be a member of St. James Lutheran Church to inquire about baptism. However the pastor feels strongly that one or both of the parents should attend St James on a regular basis. Baptism in the Lutheran Tradition believes that a child by God’s gracious action in the act of baptism becomes a Christian, part of God’s family. The faith that both Sponsors and Parents speak on behalf of the child is one that is to be nurtured in the life of the child so that at a later age the child professes their faith on their own in an act that is called the “Affirmation of  Baptism “ or what we know as “ Confirmation”.  The parents must first meet with the pastor to discuss baptism, and pastor will make the final decision as to whether the baptism will take place.

9. Do you do private baptisms?
Only on the rare exception. Almost all baptisms will normally take place during the set times for worship, since the newly baptized will be part of that Christian community, and  the congregation participates in the Christian formation of the child since the child becomes a member of the congregation when they are baptized.

10. Do you baptize adults?
Yes.  The pastor will gladly give instruction for baptism if you have not been baptized. Please be aware that adult baptism also means that you are “confirmed”
as well, so that you would be a full communicant member of the church. .
11. I like the look of your church, and would like to hold my wedding there. What about weddings?
We will gladly assist you in information concerning weddings at St. James.  Please call the church office or e-mail the church for updated guidelines for marriage at St. James.  All inquiries must go through the pastor and church council. The couple also must meet with the pastor for pre- wedding planning and counseling. 

12. What about a place for Children and Youth?
. From September to May we have Christian Education for all ages. This is held from 10:00 am to 11:00 am on Sundays. Pastor has a special children’s lesson at both the Saturday and Sunday Services.  We have specal classes for First Communion for children in fifth grade and above. We also have a special “Confirmation” program which is a two year program. Please call the church office for more details.  We have a Youth Group which can consist of a Sunday evening gathering, fun activities, and possible attendance at special youth events with the wider church.  We also welcome you to our vacation bible school held for one week every summer. Please call the church office for details.

13. How about “get togethers”, “social times”, or “fellowship?
We have occasional social hours after services on Saturday and a coffee hour after church every Sunday.  We have a senior citizens group that meets the first Wednesday of the month from   September to December. Please watch for news of other groups that will be forming in the future.  Plans include “intergenerational events”, as well as other events for different age groups.

14. I need to contact the office. When can I call?
Usually there is someone in the office from 10-2 Tuesdays and Thursdays. The pastor is usually in Monday to Thursday from about 9-1. Please feel free to leave a message on our voice mail.

15. My group is interested in meeting at St. James. Who do I contact?

You may call the church office and a get a form with guidelines and cost.

16. What about Adult learning opportunities?
In the fall from September to June there will be an Adult Bible Study on Wednesday Evening at 7pm.Other opportunities will be announced as they develop.

17. Do have any other worship opportunities besides Saturday and Sunday?
We have special services during Lent and Holy Week, as well as several services on occasions like Christmas and Easter   .


If you still have questions, please reach out to our church office for more information.

Contact Info


St. James Lutheran Church
1213 US Highway 22
Phillipsburg, NJ  08865

P: 908-454-2864

Holiday Vendor Fair

Save the Date!
December 10, 2016
Sat, 9:00AM - 3:00PM

Still looking for vendors to support the 7th Annual event!