“God is Love.” – The Bible, 1 John 4:8
There are many ways to experience this love. As Lutherans, we believe that this love can be found through relationships with others, Word and Sacrament, personal devotion, and acts of service as a grateful response to all God has done for us, plus many others. We are not willing to put God and God’s work in the world into a box.
God is our Creator.
Jesus, God’s only Son, came to earth as a human being to experience earthly life, including suffering and death. In his resurrection, Jesus saved us from sin (things that are both collective and individual that separate us from God or others) and death. Through the resurrection, we have the knowledge of forgiveness of sin, of the promise of New Life, and Hope.
The Holy Spirit is with us all the time, leading us to God and to others. The Holy Spirit inspires, comforts, and keeps us on a path of knowing and sharing the love of God.
These three together make up the Three-in-One, the Trinity, the Three Persons of the Godhead. We proclaim that God is made up of the relationships between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Another way to say this is Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.
The Bible is a book that is made up of many smaller books. This book has stories, history, lessons, and poetry about God and God’s relationship to people. It was written over thousands of years and put together in 325AD by consensus of a group of Bishops at the Council of Nicaea.
We believe this book to be inspired by God and that God had a hand in writing it and putting it together. It is our Holy Book, our Sacred Scriptures.
We consider the Bible to be the norm for our faith and life. Within its pages we can learn and experience powerful things about ourselves, God, and others. We can have a relationship with the different parts of the Trinity through spending time studying, praying, reading, and meditating on the great stories of our faith.
In the Lutheran church we have two sacraments, baptism and communion.
Sacraments have a physical sign, promises of God attached, and Jesus told us to do them.
Baptism is a kind of ritual washing, or bath. In baptism, we are welcomed into the Christian community and given as assurance of our salvation. We will baptize people of any age who want to become part of the Christian Community and to live a life of faith. We often, but not always, baptize children as infants, when their parents and Godparents makes promises to raise a child into a life of faith. The reason we do this is that we believe God’s grace (live-giving love) is a free gift for everyone, apart from the things we can and can’t do, and even things we do and do not believe. Infants are not able to have done anything to serve God, nor are they able to have belief on their own. Grace is a gift freely offered to everyone.
Baptism also affirms the importance of the community in our lives of faith. We do not do faith only or even mostly alone, but with others. Baptisms are done during a worship service as it is a time when the person is being accepted into the community. The people gathered for worship make promises to the baptized, as do God, parents, and Godparents.
When a baptized person is ready to take responsibility for their own faith, they go through a faith-formation program called Confirmation. At the end of that program the student stands in front of the entire congregation and makes an Affirmation of Baptism and then becomes an adult member of the congregation. For more information on Confirmation, click here.
Communion is a meal that Jesus told us to eat. In our congregation, this meal includes bread and wine. As Lutherans, we believe in the Real Presence of Christ. Christ is present in, with, and under the bread and wine. There is a story in our Bible where Jesus tells his disciples that the bread and wine are his body and blood. He says that through the meal we receive forgiveness of sin and renewal for our lives. We believe that as grace is a free gift for all, it is Christ who gives the invitation to the meal, and that All are Welcome. We serve people of any age and of any status, within or outside of the church. We are not willing to limit how God might work in someone’s life, even for a baby, through this special meal.
The meal reminds us of our meals at home. Even our ordinary table items – food and drink – can tell us of God’s presence in the world and help us to know God. We commune by intinction – that means you receive a piece of bread, dip it into wine or grape juice, and then eat it. Since communion is a holy, sacred, and community act, everyone comes up to the front to receive. People who do not want to commune can have a blessing. This meal is for all.
God’s love is for all and we are not called to judge. Everyone is welcome to join us for any activities or for worship.