Word of God
Our congregation believes, teaches and confesses that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, Word of God. We believe that God’s Word is also powerful in its proclamation to all people. We believe, teach and confess that Luther’s Small Catechism and the other Lutheran Confessions contained in the Book of Concord are faithful summaries and applications of God’s Word and that they are therefore normative for all of our teaching and practice. We recognize that the Church is in the world, but not of the world, yet while each of us serves God faithfully in our various daily callings (stations/vocations) in life (not only in “church work”). We seek to address the modern, cutting-edge, issues of the day, with the unchanging truth of God’s Word and the historic creeds and confessions of the Church.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church is a traditional Lutheran church. We stand out from many other Lutheran churches and Christian congregations in that we still use a hymnal, our pastor wears vestments and also chants on occasion, and we follow the historic Lutheran liturgy, all done with reverence and joy in God’s presence.
We believe that the Lutheran Church is a liturgical church. This means not only that we follow an ordered, regular order of service, but this also means that such liturgy is shaped by what we believe, teach, and confess from Scripture and as summarized in our Lutheran Confessions, the Book of Concord of 1580. This also means that the Word and Sacraments are the core and living center of the Divine Service. It is around these “marks of the church” that we gather each Lord’s Day (yes, we offer weekly Communion!).
The Lutheran Church is a liturgical church to a large degree simply because we do not claim to be a new church. Martin Luther did not intend to start a “new church.” He sought reform, not revolution. Revolution was left to the radical protestants, whereas Luther was extremely careful and conservative in liturgical reforms in accordance with Scripture. Only where a teaching or practice contradicted Scripture was a change made. The early Lutheran confessors understood themselves to be both “evangelical” (sola gratia) and “catholic” (universal, ie. teaching the whole and unchanging truth of God).
Understood this way, the historically-received liturgy (also known as the Common Service, TLH, p. 15, LSB, p. 184) is much more than a certain artistic aesthetic or style. It is certainly much more than a museum piece. It is not a static object but a living, breathing, organic truth, way of worship, and mystery that is handed down from one generation to the next. It isn’t then that some are “liturgical people” and others are “non-liturgical people.” All Christian congregations follow some sort of worship pattern. (The most “contemporary” service that Trinity offers is called Setting I, p. 151) Trinity’s worship life is a centered on being baptized into the Christian faith and taught the mysteries of the faith through hearing God’s Word, read and sung in an ongoing way for the rest of one’s life. This takes the whole question out of the realm of “taste” or “preference”, entertainment or the mood that is generated by various styles of worship. Instead, the whole question of worship is answered in a Christ-centered reality that flows from Him to us, where heaven comes down to earth to deliver the gifts of Good Friday and Easter in the Word and the ongoing feast of the Holy Eucharist.
The teaching of God’s Word and the gifts of the sacraments pull, shape, and give breath to the liturgy. It is not that the means of grace are added mechanically to the liturgy – just plugged-in. Rather we understand that in the Divine Service Christ comes to us with forgiveness, life, and salvation. The Holy Spirit is at work in that powerful Word of salvation to create and sustain faith. The means of grace (Word and Sacraments) are the “horse” that pulls the “cart” of the liturgy.
Within this liturgy we preach Christ and Him crucified as the atonement for the sin of the world. We preach His bodily resurrection from the dead as the way of our justification. It is Christ and His work among us that is the center of His liturgy among us.
What we offer is an alternative to the entertainment-driven “alternative worship” so prevalent today. This is the classical perspective and intention of genuine Lutherans in times past, and God-willing it is our intention at Trinity Lutheran Church to continue confessing the love of God for sinners found only in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Please come check us out. Ask questions. If you need help following along during the service, please ask the person sitting next to you or ask an usher to seat you near someone that can show you the way. God bless you.