Our Faith and Beliefs

A Faith Founded on Good News

Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time.

Today, nearly five centuries later, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of Luther’s theological teachings, such as Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism.

We are saved by the grace of God alone

not by anything we do

Our salvation is through faith alone

a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life and salvation

The Bible is the norm for faith and life

the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged

Worship is an Ever-Changing, Ever-Growing Experience

Connected with and central to everything we do, worship unites us in celebration, engages us in thoughtful dialogue and helps us grow in faith. It grounds us in our Christian and Lutheran roots, while demonstrating practical relevance for today’s world.

The Bible

Most Americans, religious or not, have heard of and read part or even all of the Bible. It is arguably one of the most often referenced books – or set of books – in our culture. In it’s most basic definition, the Bible is a diverse collection of writings divided into two main sections:

The Old Testament tells the story of God’s relationship with and work on behalf of the Hebrew people. The stories and songs of the faith of these people still reach us today.

The New Testament shares the story of Jesus, God’s Son, and his teachings, death and resurrection, as well as the experiences and faith of the first followers of Jesus.

But its meaning—and its significance to the Christian faith—is far more complex and profound. As Lutherans, ELCA members believe that the Bible is the written Word of God. It creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. And in reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises us new life.

2015-2016: Lectionary Series C

Year C focuses on the Gospel of Luke. The semi-continuous Old Testament readings are of prophetic proclamation chosen in chronological order and highlighting Jeremiah. The second, New Testament, readings are chosen mainly from Galatians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy and 2 Thessalonians.

What ELCA Lutherans Believe

Our understanding of answers to essential questions regarding Christianity and Lutheranism