Ascension Lutheran Church

What We Believe

Our faith tradition is based on a life-transforming story. The story of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELCA) is both ancient and timely. It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed. It’s a story of Jesus Christ, changing lives. It’s a story that brings comfort and strength to people who today live in modern, often unsettling times. Learn more about our beliefs – and become a part of our story.

For Lutherans, worship matters. In fact, worship lies at the heart of how we understand ourselves together. While some of the approaches to worship may differ from one congregation to another, we hold certain things in common.

There is a basic pattern for worship among Lutherans. We gather. We encounter God’s Word. We share a meal at the Lord’s table. And we are sent into the world. But we do not think about worship so much in terms of what we do. Worship is fundamentally about what God is doing and our response to God’s action. Worship is an encounter with God, who saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Think about it like this: God’s Spirit calls us together. God speaks to us through readings from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, through preaching, prayer, and song. God feeds and nourishes us in a saving way. And God blesses us and sends us in mission to the world.

Taken together, the word proclaimed and the sacraments – both Holy Baptism and Holy Communion – are called the means of grace. We believe that Jesus Christ is present in these means through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we describe worship as a “gathering around the means of grace.” This is a way of saying that we trust that God is genuinely present with us in baptism, in preaching, and in sharing the bread and wine of Holy Communion. In that sense, Lutherans believe that God’s presence permeates all of Christian worship.

Visit the What We Believe Section of the ELCA web site for more information and resources