Our Beliefs

Our Litany for the Reception of New Members best describes our understanding of God’s gift of the church.


Litany for the reception of new members

Leader: The church is a family of people with varieties of gifts, united by the spirit revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.

Congregation: IT IS THE SPIRIT OF CARING FOR ONE ANOTHER, OF FORGIVING, OF HELPING EACH OTHER, OF WEEPING AND REJOICING TOGETHER, IT IS THE SPIRIT OF LOVE REVEALED IN THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JESUS.

New Members: We want to share in that spirit.

Leader: The church is a family of people with a diversity of needs, ideas, and visions, inspired by the spirit burning through the words and deeds of Jesus as recorded in Scripture.

Congregation: IT IS THE SPIRIT OF OPENNESS TO THE WORLD AND TO ALL PERSONS AS OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS, OF CONTINUAL SEARCHING AND LEARNING, OF SAYING, “WE BELIEVE; HELP OUR UNBELIEF.” IT IS THE STIRRING TOWARD GROWTH AND RENEWAL, WHICH TAKES MANY FORMS. IT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH WHICH JESUS MADE KNOWN TO PEOPLE.

New Members: We want to share in that spirit.

Leader: The church is a family of people with different concerns, convictions, and tasks, led by one spirit who through the ages encourages, renews, and reforms the church.

Congregation: IT IS THE SPIRIT WHICH WAS IN JESUS WHO, FOR US, IS GOD’S EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT IS TO BE HUMAN AND FAITHFUL. IT IS THE HOPE LEADING US TO SEEK A BETTER WORLD, FREE OF POVERTY AND WAR AND OPPRESSION AND EVERYTHING THAT DEHUMANIZES PEOPLE. IT IS THE SPIRIT OF JUSTICE AND PEACE REVEALED IN JESUS.

New Members: We want to share in that spirit.

Leader: The church is a family of people of many backgrounds and expectations and responses, called by one spirit.

Congregation: IT IS THE SPIRIT OF CELEBRATION AND THANKSGIVING FOR THE MYSTERIOUS WAY OUR LIVES ARE WOVEN TOGETHER TO ENRICH AND NOURISH AND BLESS THE WHOLE AND ALL ITS PARTS SO THAT THE HURT OF ONE IS THE HURT OF ALL AND THE JOY OF ALL IS THE JOY OF EACH, MOVING US TO COME ALIVE TOGETHER. IT IS THE SPIRIT OF LIFE, MADE FLESH TO DWELL AMONG US IN JESUS THE CHRIST.

New Members: We want to share in that spirit.

Leader: So do we, and we want to share in it with you. We are glad for you, and acting for all the members of this church, I welcome you into our Family here. We offer you ourselves and our love. May the gift of the spirit of Jesus Christ be yours!

All: MAY THIS GIFT OF THE SPIRIT BE OURS TOGETHER, THIS SEASON AND ALWAYS, UNITING, INSPIRING, LEADING AND CALLING US, AND THE WHOLE WORLD, TO NEWNESS OF LIFE. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR YOU AND GLAD OUR LIVES ARE BOUND TOGETHER AND TO GOD: THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s website provides a good summary of our confessional understandings and Lutheran identity.