What is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the result of a merger of three Lutheran churches in 1988. They were The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.
- Now 28 years later, the ELCA is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace. Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world. We believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God's work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ's name throughout the world.
- Zion Lutheran Church is made up of members from various religious backgrounds.
- Members of the ELCA are called and privileged to participate in God's work in the world. God calls and empowers us for mission through baptism. As a community of believers justified by grace through faith, we do not describe mission in terms of our own work but with reference to the healing, salvation and restoration that God accomplishes through Christ. We seek the guidance of the Spirit in our planning, while expecting surprising developments and unanticipated opportunities. Grounded in God's love and forgiveness, we are equipped to live and serve here and now, in the world, with all its complexities, tensions and ambiguities. We have the courage to explore the world as saints and sinners who are certain of God's promises and of the confident hope that all God's loving purposes will be fulfilled when our risen Lord Jesus Christ returns.
- Forgiveness and reconciliation – We are reconciled to God by God's forgiving mercy. Forgiveness and reconciliation flow from what God has made us to be in Jesus Christ and what God is doing with us in the world. As a people of God, we embody forgiveness in speech, action and relationships, and our ministry in reconciliation is foundational.
- Dignity, compassion and justice – Each person is created in God's image. We respect this God-given right to dignity and, inspired by the life of Jesus, show love and compassion for all people. Through proclamation of the gospel, through worship and as servants of God working for healing and justice in the world, we uphold and seek to protect the dignity and human rights of all people.
- Inclusion and diversity – As Christ's church, we value the richness of God's creation and offer a radical welcome to all people, appreciating our common humanity and our differences. We are a church that does not view diversity as a barrier to unity. We recognize and will challenge dynamics of power and privilege that create barriers to participation and equity in this church and society – for women, people of color, minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities, people who are marginalized or living in poverty, and the LGBTQ community.
- Courage and openness to change – Because we trust in God's promise and understand faith to be a living, daring confidence in God's grace, we are emboldened to embrace learning and change in our spiritual and institutional journey as church. This means we are open to new ways and willing to take risks to discover God's plan for this church.
- Faithful stewardship of God's creation and gifts – As church together, faithful stewardship is about holding to God's purpose and ensuring the responsibilities and resources that God has entrusted to us are used with great care and with accountability to God, to each other and those served by this church.
- To learn more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America click here. This will take you the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) website.