Who We Are & What We Believe

Aside

WELCOME

The 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.

Our Worship Life & Practice

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 still wears vestments, we chant/sing the historic Lutheran liturgy, and all is 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 means that the Word and Sacraments are the core and living center of our lives and 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 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. Luther, on the other hand, was extremely precise and conservative in his liturgical reforms. Only where a teaching or practice contradicted Scripture was a reform made. The early Lutheran confessors understood themselves to be both “evangelical” (sola gratia-grace alone) and “catholic” (meaning “universal”, ie. teaching the whole and unchanging truth of God).

Understood this way, the historically-received Lutheran liturgy (also known as the Common Service, TLH, p. 15, LSB, p. 184)  is much more than a certain artistic aesthetic or style. And it is certainly much more than a museum piece. It is not a immovable object but it is a way of worship that embraces beauty and mystery handed down from one generation to the next. It is a false dichotomy to describe congregations as “liturgical people” and others as “non-liturgical people.” All Christian congregations follow some sort of worship pattern.

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, for the entirety of one’s life. This takes the whole worship style question out of the realm of “taste” or “preference”, “entertainment” mood that is generated by various styles of worship. Instead, the whole question of worship is answered by a focus on 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 direct the liturgy. It is not that the means of grace are added to the liturgy in a mechanical – like plugging in a toaster.  Rather Trinity Lutheran understands that in this Divine Service Christ comes  with forgiveness, life, and salvation for each of us individually and for us corporately as the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit is at work through 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.

Litany for Lent

The Litany for Lent (PDF)

This prayer is an excellent outline for individual prayer and meditation, as well as a wonderful resource for family devotions at home.

The Litany is a responsive prayer of the church, penitential in character and not focused upon the individual praying, but instead focusing on all mankind’s need for divine intervention and compassion. It is one of the most ancient of rites of the church. It could be called “The People’s Prayer”. When compared to the TeDeum which declares the glory of God, the Litany confesses the depths of our common humanity.

Blessed Dr. Martin Luther regarded the Litany as “next to the holy Lord’s Prayer the very best that has come to earth.” Luther revised and lengthened the Litany as he found it in the Roman Church of his day (1529). He very carefully and studiously retained his respect for the Litany as it was handed down to him from it’s earliest days in the Early Church. His version is clearly evangelical in spirit, churchly and not sentimental. Luther’s version of the Litany clearly influenced Thomas Cranmer’s “Book of Common Prayer” and his version of the Litany therein (1544).