Why ELCA Lutheran?
Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world. This is the mission statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). As members of the ELCA, 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’ name throughout the world.
Claimed by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we are a new creation through God’s living word by the power of the Holy Spirit;
Gathered by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will live among God’s faithful people, hear God’s word, and share Christ’s supper;
Sent by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people following the example of our Lord Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the world.
Biblical and theological foundation
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 (Ephesians 2:8), 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 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 (1 John 3:2).
Strategic directions for the ELCA churchwide organization
The ELCA churchwide organization, working collaboratively with congregations, synods, agencies, and institutions, and other partners, will give priority to:
- Accompanying congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission; and
- Building capacity for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.
To this end, the churchwide organization continues to play a significant and pivotal role in the life of this church by working with its local and global mission partners to build, support, and extend the mission of this church.