Lutheranism is a faith tradition that is open to all, regardless of background. Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation--the earth and the seas and all of the world's inhabitants. We believe that God's Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God's Spirit is active in the the world.
We are part of God's unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere. When we study the bible or hear God's word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God's own saving story.
Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Today, nearly five centuries after Luther and others launched the Reformation, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31st and still hold to the basic principles of Luther's theological teachings, such as grace alone, faith alone, scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism: We are saved by the grace of God alone--not by anything we do; our salvation is through faith alone--a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life and salvation; the bible is the norm of faith and life--the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Today Lutherans continue to be a part of a reforming movement within the whole Christian church. As part of practicing our faith, the ELCA has engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other church bodies for decades. These dialogues have resulted in the ELCA entering into "full communion" with the Moravian Church, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.
The ELCA is almost five million members strong, with nearly 10,500 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.