What We Believe

What We Believe

Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church is a local community of Christians. We are followers of Jesus Christ, whom we believe is God’s Son, sent to our broken world to bring God’s wholeness and peace. As Lutheran Christians, we like to say ‘Lutheran’ is the adjective and ‘Christian’ is the noun! We see ourselves as part of the one, universal Christian Church of all times and places.

Holy Shepherd is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As you will see below in “What We Believe,” our core beliefs are the core beliefs of all Christians. Yet the adjective “Lutheran” identifies us as a people of Grace. Our relationship with God centers not on what we do but what God does for us, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Saved by grace through faith is how Martin Luther describes our trust in God’s goodness revealed in Christ Jesus. Because we are blessed with this gift of God’s grace, we want to be faithful disciples of Jesus, we get to be gracious, grateful, welcoming people who share God’s love for the world.

Click the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America links below to learn more about Lutheran Christianity:

 What We Believe

Essential Questions

What we believe about…

GOD: We believe in one God, who is made known to us in three ways – as the Father, as the Son and as the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we understand and identify God as being a Holy Trinity, or three-in-one. We believe that the oneness of God’s three persons testifies to the peace and harmony that God intends in the Church and in the world. We believe this three-in-one God desires a personal relationship with those created and loved by this God. We believe that just as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, so we can be one with them and each other.(Mark 1:9-11)

GOD, THE FATHER: We believe that God the Father has always been and will always be. God the Father created and creates everything out of nothing. In love, God sustains creation and desires an intimate relationship with all people. While God is neither male nor female, we call this part of God, “the Father” because that’s how Jesus addressed the One who sent him. (Genesis 1:1-3, Mark 14:35-36, Matthew 6:9-15)

GOD, THE SON: We believe that God became known to humanity in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus, being completely human and completely divine, lived a servant life on behalf of humanity, teaching the ways of God.  Jesus, given to us by God, was crucified and died on a cross, dying the death we deserve for our sins, in order to show God’s redemptive power over sin and the depth of God’s love for all creation.  God, in Jesus, is found on the cross, as One who enters our darkness and embraces us with total and unconditional acceptance. Jesus was raised from death to show us the power that God has over the sin and death that threaten to consume creation. (John 3:16, 1 Peter 2:24)

GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s gift of the presence of Jesus Christ among us. Through the Spirit, God loves us, empowers us, and lives in us. The Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers, equipping them to be the “hands, feet, eyes and ears” of God in the world. The Holy Spirit is an active power that works outside, above, in and through the lives of people so that God is made known to us and so that we can have faith. (John 14:15-31, Galatians 5:22-23)

THE BIBLE: We believe that God’s Word comes to us in three forms: the Word made flesh – Jesus Christ, the proclamation of God’s Word in Law and Gospel, and the written Word of God in the Bible. The Bible is the inspired Word of God, through which we come to know the nature and character of God. In Martin Luther’s words, it is “the manger in which the Word of God is laid.” Therefore, it is not a definitive record of history or science, but rather it is the record of God’s saving care for creation. Though it can be studied and interpreted in different ways, we believe that it is the primary and authoritative witness to the church’s faith. As God’s Word, the Bible transcends time and cultural contexts, forever applicable and relevant to our lives in the world. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:20-21)

SIN: We believe that sin separates us from God. Sin is our rebellion against God’s will and shows itself through broken relationships with God, with others and with ourselves. Our very nature leads us to sin, by what we think, say and do. God’s desire for us is that we turn from sin and toward a relationship with God. (Isaiah 59:1-2, Romans 5:12-14, Romans 6:23)

GRACE: The grace of God is the means by which we are forgiven and drawn into relationship with the God that we worship. God’s grace is a gift so good and so powerful that we cannot possibly earn it, nor is there anything we can do to un-earn it, either! Because of our sinful nature, we must trust completely in this grace to bring us into present and eternal relationship and communion with God. We strive to make all that we do a grateful response to the undeserved gift of God’s grace to us. (Ephesians 2:4-10)

FAITH: We believe that faith is also given to us by God. Faith is our ability to believe and trust in God as one who forgives sins and offers eternal life. Faithful lives are those that strive to do works of love, mercy and justice, out of gratitude for of God’s love for us. We live lives of faith that demonstrate God’s love to the world; not to earn God’s love for ourselves, but in response to God’s Word of love. (Romans 4:13, Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:4-10)

BAPTISM: We believe that, through Jesus, God commands us to baptize others in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Baptism is a sacrament whereby water and the Word come together as a sign that God adopts us as children. Because we believe that God, not humanity, acts through baptism, we believe in baptism for both infants and adults, and we feel there is no reason to “re-baptize” any baptized person coming to the Lutheran Church from another Christian denomination. (Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 28:16-20)

HOLY COMMUNION: We believe that, through Jesus, God commands us to share the sacrament of Holy Communion with one another. As with water in the sacrament of Baptism, the physical elements of bread and wine are visible means through which the grace and real presence of Christ come to us. More than mere symbols, the bread and wine of communion are to us the body and blood of Jesus, the very presence of Christ. Through the sharing of the bread and wine of communion we are reminded of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us, and we ask for God’s continued forgiveness of all our sins. We invite everyone to share this meal of thanksgiving with us, because we know that God’s love and grace are gifts for all to receive. (Matthew 26:26-28, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

PRAYER: We believe that the heart and center of a reconciled relationship with God is the life-giving discipline of an ongoing communication with God – called prayer. Prayer includes adoration, confession, and thanksgiving, as well as asking God to supply our needs and interceding for the needs of others. Further, Jesus himself demonstrated that listening is a central act of the communication with God that is prayer. Luther’s explanation of the Lord’s Prayer rightly emphasizes that we, as those who pray, are often the ones changed by our prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18)

HOLY SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH: We believe that, as a church, we are a gathered community of people who believe in, and live by, the teachings of Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Bible. We share a common confession as a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We are also a part of the Church Universal — the community of believers throughout the world who preach, teach, and live in and by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge and respect the different ways that other communities interpret and live out the Gospel, actively striving to become one with them all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:11-16)

WORSHIP HOURS

Contemporary
Saturday: 5:00 pm

Traditional
Sunday: 8:30 am

Contemporary
Sunday: 9:50 am