The central message of the Lutheran Church is that God’s love and grace are freely given by God to all people through Jesus Christ. No efforts of our own are required to earn forgiveness and to experience the freedom to live lives unlimited by selfishness and sin. Lutherans trace this message back 500 years, to the work of Martin Luther, a German monk who advocated for reform within the Catholic church of his day. Luther’s theology began the Protestant Reformation in Europe, and also generated reform within the Catholic church. Today, Lutherans stand in close communion with Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists and other mainline Christian denominations in preaching the good news of God’s love to all people.
The hallmarks of the Lutheran Church are worship and service. Lutherans celebrate Holy Communion weekly, to experience and be inspired by the ultimate love and sacrifice of Jesus. Lutheran worship is full of music and singing, uniting the congregation in active worship, either in traditional or contemporary modes of expression. The goal of regular worship is not only to build up the individual and the community, but to empower each participant to carry God’s message of love and forgiveness into the world outside the church–to build faith that is active in love.