Our purpose is to invite all people into everyday faith, to grow, serve, and become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Lutherans in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are Christians who trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We share a common faith with other Christians who affirm the Bible as sacred Scripture and accept the ancient creeds as accurate summaries of our faith. Lutherans are unique only in our history and emphasis on salvation through faith alone.
We believe in the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge one God in these three persons. We believe that God the Father is the Creator of all that exists, and that God continues to be active in the lives of people today. God is passionate about His creation, loves it deeply, and desires that our lives be filled with love and joy.
We believe that human beings are born with an inner rebellion against God’s authority, and that rebellion separates us from God. Sin is the name that Scripture gives this rebellion. We are powerless to bridge the gap between God and ourselves. Unless this gap is healed, we live and die apart from God.
We believe that while God has revealed Himself in many ways throughout history, He is most fully known in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, is fully God and fully human. The most important event in Christian history is the death and resurrection of Jesus. On the cross God makes Himself present, hidden in weakness, vulnerability and suffering. In the cross we learn that we do not need to find God by being good or holy. Instead God finds us in our darkness, pain, emptiness and weakness.
By God’s grace we learn to see the cross as God reaching out to us. And in Jesus’ resurrection, we see God’s power to liberate us from sin and death. By our faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, our sin is forgiven and we are made right with God, freed to be all that God created us to be.
We believe that the Bible is the living Word of God. It is the primary means by which God’s Spirit enters our lives, calling us to repentance and faith. When we hear God’s Word, God breaks into our lives shattering old ways and creating new life, new values and new commitment.
Lutherans do not tend to understand the Bible literally, nor do we worship the Bible. Instead, we seek to leave ourselves open to the work of God’s Spirit through the words of the Bible.
We believe that God has chosen to work through the water of baptism. When water and God’s Word come together and touch the life of a child or adult, we are born again, incorporated into Christ, into his body, the Church. By grace, we receive God’s forgiveness through baptism, and are given the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.
In baptism, especially infant baptism, we affirm that God chooses us – we did not choose God. Our baptism reminds us that our status with God never depends upon how we feel, whether we have the “right” religious experience, or our success or failures. Baptism reminds us that God loves us as we are, but refuses to leave us that way.
We believe that God reaches out to us through the celebration of his supper, Holy Communion. By eating the bread and wine by faith, we give flesh to the Christ who continues to work in us and in the world. In Holy Communion we are reminded of Christ’s loving sacrifice, reminded that God is with us daily in ordinary experience, and reminded that a great feast of victory awaits the faithful when Christ comes again.
We believe that the Church is the people of God, called to live by faith as witnesses of God’s love and redeeming work in the world. We are not called to live as Christians in isolation, but in community. God calls us to gather in worship, study and fellowship.
Growing as a Christian
We believe that Christians are called to grow in faith, love and obedience to the will of God throughout our lives. We are never done growing! Growth happens whenever we place ourselves in the path of God’s Holy Spirit and allow ourselves to be open to the Spirit’s work in us. We believe that God’s Spirit works most often through the Word, the Sacraments (baptism and Holy Communion), and by gathering together with other Christians in worship, study, and fellowship.