Our Core Beliefs
We believe in God, the Source of love, light, and life. God has created all that is and is still actively creating. God has created us in his own image and likeness and God's love for human beings is unconditional. In that which is beautiful mystery, God has been revealed to us as One in Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which are co-equal and co-eternal.
We believe in Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God and second person of the Holy Trinity. As promised by the prophets, in the fullness of time Jesus came down from heaven and became incarnate, meaning he took on flesh to live as one of us. His incarnation was miraculous, as he was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He taught us a new way of life, based in love. He advocated for those society cast aside. He stood up for the poor and those who had been shamed. He experienced what we experience and was tempted as we are tempted, yet did not sin. Ultimately, he walked the way of the cross, experiencing humiliation and death. But being fully God as well as fully human, Jesus Christ broke the bonds of sin, death, and the grave and was resurrected. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, death does not have the final word over us.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, whom we call the "Comforter," "Lord," and "Giver of Life." Fifty days after Jesus was raised and ten days after he ascended into heaven where he is seated at the right hand of the Father, the Holy Spirit descended upon those gathered in the name of Christ. The Holy Spirit, since that day, which we call "Pentecost," has empowered the church for its work in the world. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the church continues to be gathered, inspired, comforted, and send into the world to proclaim the Good News.
We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, which is the gathering together of all those who confess the name of Jesus Christ. Amongst this gathering, consisting of the baptized faithful, bishops, priests, and deacons, the Word of God is proclaimed and the Sacraments are celebrated. The church is sent back into the world to serve those in need, share the Gospel, and witness to the love of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Bible, the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, are the primary rule of faith, in which God has revealed himself and the saving acts of Jesus Christ. We are careful to be diligent in how we study Scripture, acknowledging that these divinely-inspired texts have been written by human hands, and that historical, linguistic, sociological, anthropological, and scientific contexts must be taken into account. Context is everything!
We believe that the Dominical (Christ-commanded) Sacraments - Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist and the Sacramental Rites of Confirmation, Ordination, Reconciliation (Confession and Absolution), Unction (Anointing), and Marriage - are means by which we experience God's grace in a tangible way. Through the waters of Baptism we are cleansed, made new, and enter eternal life as we are brought into the body of Christ. When we receive the consecrated bread and wine in Holy Communion, we receive the true body and precious blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and renewed life. The liturgy, in which we receive Holy Communion goes by many names, including the Lord's Supper, the Divine Liturgy, the Mass, the Mysteries, and the Holy Eucharist. The word "Mass" comes from the last words of the service in Latin, "Ite, missa est," "Go, you are sent." By this we know that we do not just worship and receive the benefits of the sacraments for ourselves, but are sent back out into the world to do the work Christ has given us. The word "Eucharist" is a Greek word which means "thanksgiving," as we offer God our thanks and praise when we celebrate the Holy Eucharist.
We are Lutheran. We joyfully subscribe to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, and the other documents included in the Book of Concord. We unabashedly believe that we are justified by grace through faith, by no good works of our own. There is nothing we can do to earn God's love, God's grace, or God's promise of salvation in Christ.
These statements above are a summary of the faith we hold in God. If you are interested in exploring further, follow the links below and check out our Online Reading Room.
As Orthodox Catholic Christians, we have official statements of faith which define who we are as believers. Three of them are creeds, which have been handed down to us through the Sacred Tradition ("tradition" coming from the Latin tradere, which means "to deliver" or "to hand over/down").