In no particular order, they said:
- confession and absolution were part of their prerequisites for worship to be Lutheran;
- Scripture readings and, in particular, the reading of the Gospel;
- speaking of the creed (either Apostles or Nicene, in their minds);
- sermon to apply the Word to life (though not too long);
- Holy Communion (they have grown up to our weekly Eucharist as the expected norm);
- use of the Our Father;
- at least some of the songs being hymns from the hymnal
- receiving an offering.
It was a moment that made me proud. Instinctively they knew that not everything done in a Lutheran parish was automatically Lutheran. And if it is not Lutheran, they knew what to say about it and what to do with it. In the end, most of them agreed with the one who volunteered "After visiting another church, I have new found respect for my Lutheran church and for my Pastor" (it seems the preacher she heard preached an hour and 25 minutes compared to my typical 15-18 minutes and this swung the vote in my direction).