What We Believe
For many of us, we’re still trying to figure that out- and that’s ok. As a congregation, we’re part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us, as the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world.
If you’re the kind of person who likes footnotes, or if you’re looking for more details, here are some:
Historically, the Lutheran church is a reforming movement. You may remember Martin Luther from history class – Luther was a German monk in the 16th century. Luther had questions about some of the practices of the church in his day and he wanted to talk about them. He called for an open conversation by nailing his famous 95 theses (or statements) to the castle door in Wittenburg, Germany. (The castle door served as the community bulletin board.) He was simply calling for public conversation and reform, but he ended up as the instigator of the Protestant Reformation. To make a very long story short, Lutherans have a long history of questioning and of reform.
Lutherans are grounded in worship. As we worship, we gather around Word and Sacrament. Word is the Word of God, both scripture reading and the way the Word comes alive through preaching. Sacraments are ways God comes to us in physical, tangible things. In Baptism, water combines with the word of God, washing us into God's mercy. In Holy Communion, bread and wine combine with the Word of God and are, for us, the body and blood of Christ, forgiving our sins and sustaining us for the journey of life. Every Sunday morning as we gather for worship, we remember our baptism, we hear the Word of God read and proclaimed through preaching and we celebrate the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion. Through it all, we pray and we sing.
What do we believe? That we are saved by grace alone. Not by anything we do, but by what God has done for us. We strive for peace and justice in the world as a response to the amazing gifts God has given us. We're "born again" Christians through baptism, not by any conscious decision of our own or by any experience, but by God's reaching out and claiming us in baptism. We read scripture through the lens of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Lutherans read the Bible not as a rule book but as a source of wisdom & inspiration. We seek what God is telling us today through these ancient texts and stories. One of Martin Luther's contributions was to put scripture into the language of the people. He believed that the revealed Word of God was accessible to all people, not just the learned class.