WHAT WE BELIEVE

 

It seems a bit silly to try and put together a page speaking about what we believe because we are a large and diverse body of people with many beliefs and an array of diverse views.  We celebrate this diversity and rejoice in our differences understanding these as a necessary part of the Body of Christ.  With these things being said, we have claimed some values as our own and we are deeply integrated into the Lutheran Christian tradition specifically celebrating our place within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

 

CLC Mission Statement:

"Connecting all generations to Christ and community."

CLC Signature Phrase

God's Word. Our Voice

God's Welcome. Our Embrace

God's Work. Our Hands

 

Report of the Congregation

Vision & Strategic Plan

Agenda & Action Plan for Jan. 30, 2011 Congregational Meeting

Organizational Structure

 

Our faith tradition is based on a life-transforming story.

The ELCA’s story is both ancient and timely. It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed. It’s a story of Jesus Christ, changing lives. It’s a story that brings comfort and strength to people who today live in modern, often unsettling times. Learn more about our beliefs—and become a part of our story.

What is Christianity?

To define it simply, Christianity is one of the world’s major monotheistic religions. Christians believe in Jesus Christ and follow his teachings. We believe Jesus is God’s own son, sent by God to become human. As the son of God, Jesus is divine, but he was also a human being who lived among us on earth, over 2,000 years ago. Followers of Jesus are part of God’s people, whose heritage includes the Jewish people and the Christian Church throughout the world today.

Who was Jesus?

As a person, Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew who lived and died in biblical Israel under Roman rule in a province the Romans called Palestine. He spent his adult life in ministry with his disciples, traveling around the region, teaching about God and spreading a message of God’s love, peace, hope and forgiveness. He healed the sick and fed the hungry. He gathered many followers who were passionate about his teachings. As his following grew, some of the religious leaders became more and more distrustful and angry with him, until he was eventually turned over to the Roman government by Judas, one of his own disciples. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate then sentenced him to execution. He died by being nailed to a cross in the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem.

But death did not contain him. On the third day after his crucifixion, the day Christians call Easter, Jesus appeared among his followers as the risen, living Lord. He continued to teach, spreading the Good News, sharing the story of his life and resurrection to people here on earth for forty days before returning to heaven. His story and teachings are depicted in the New Testament of the Bible.

As Christians, we believe that Christ lives among us today by the power of God’s Spirit, present when the Good News is preached and the sacraments are administered.

Living a Christian life

Because of Jesus Christ, we believe that Christians are called and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live our lives in service to the world. Through acts of love and justice, worship and witness, we share God’s boundless love with the world.

As members of the ELCA, we share with all Christians a worldwide community of faith. Through Christ, we are united with other Christians and we recognize a wide fellowship of churches. We work alongside them in ecumenical ministry and service, both in the United States and across the globe

 

The Bible

Most Americans, religious or not, have heard of and read part or even all of the Bible. It is arguably one of the most often referenced books — or set of books — in our culture.

In its most basic definition, the Bible is a diverse collection of writings, divided into two main sections:

  • the Old Testament, which tells the story of God’s relationship with and work on behalf of the Hebrew people
  • the New Testament, which shares the story of Jesus, God’s Son, and his teachings, death and resurrection, as well as the experiences and faith of the first followers of Jesus

But its meaning — and its significance to the Christian faith — is far more complex and profound. As Lutherans, ELCA members believe that the Bible is the written Word of God. It creates and nurtures faith through the work of the Holy Spirit and points us to Jesus Christ, the living Word and center of our faith. And in reading the Bible, we are invited into a relationship with God that both challenges us and promises us new life.

Prayer

A quiet moment of reflection. A talk with Jesus. A recited text celebrating faith. Though very different, all of these are valid definitions for “prayer.” Prayer is an intentional and meaningful way that every individual -- no matter of age, race, or background -- can deepen his or her personal relationship with God.

If you’ve never prayed, or don’t know how, you’ll find here that it’s easy to begin -- and it can bring great peace and joy to your life.

Social Statements

As a public church, we are called to address significant social issues that affect the common good. We seek to bring God’s justice not only in the world but also in the church. The social statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are social policy documents, adopted by the churchwide assembly in accordance with our policies and procedures. read more

 

Statements of Belief

Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation -- the earth and the seas and all of the world’s inhabitants. We believe that God's Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his new life, and we trust that God's Spirit is active in the world.

We are part of God’s unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere. When we study the Bible or hear God’s word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.

The convictions shared by Christians from many different traditions are expressed in statements of belief called creeds.

These ecumenical creeds that Lutherans affirm and use in worship confess the faith of the church through the ages and around the world.

The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is part of our founding constitution. The ELCA accepts the following creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church:

 

The Apostles' Creed

About the Creed
The Apostles' Creed as we now have it dates from the eighth century. But in truth its roots are in the “Old Roman Creed,” which was used in some parts of the ancient church as early as the third century. Before the Old Roman Creed, in turn, were variations rooted in the New Testament itself. While this creed does not come from the apostles (Jesus’ followers sent to share the good news), its roots are apostolic (in keeping with the teaching of the New Testament apostles). The creed describes the faith into which we are baptized and therefore is used in the rites of Baptism and Affirmation of Baptism.

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

*or "he descended into hell," another translation of this text in widespread use.

Text prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) and the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC). Reproduced by permission.

The Nicene Creed

About the Creed
The Nicene Creed was first adopted by church leaders in 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. Later that century, at the Council of Constantinople (381) some minor changes were made and it was again reaffirmed at the Council of Chalcedon (451). This ecumenical creed is the most widely accepted creed in the Christian faith and it is an essential part of the doctrine and liturgy of Lutheran churches. Historically it has been used at Holy Communion on Sundays and major feasts.

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son,* who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Text prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) and the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC). Reproduced by permission.

 

The Athanasian Creed

About the Creed
This creed is of uncertain origin. It was supposedly prepared in the time of Athanasius, the great theologian of the fourth century, but many scholars have theorized that it seems more likely that it dates from the fifth or sixth centuries because of its Western character. It communicates two essential points of Bible teaching: that God's Son and the Holy Spirit are of one being with the Father; and that Jesus Christ is true God and true man in one person. Traditionally it is considered the "Trinitarian Creed." In many congregations it is read aloud in corporate worship on Trinity Sunday, the Sunday after Pentecost.
Athanasian Creed
Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.

Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.

Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.

But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.

What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.

Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.

The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.

Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.

Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.

Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.

Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.

As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.

And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.

Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.

It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.

For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and man.

He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother -- existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.

Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.

He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.

He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.

For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.

He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.

Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith.

One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

Text prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) and the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC). Reproduced by permission.


 

 

 

WELCOME

Canton Lutheran Church invites you to connect with us as you seek an authentic and meaningful life.  Come and discover the healing power of a welcoming and accepting congregation where questions are honored, differences are respected and love is shared.

WHOEVER YOU ARE,

HOWEVER YOU COME,

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!

MISSION

"Connecting All Generations to Christ & Community"

God's Word.  Our Voice.

God's Welcome.  Our Embrace.

God's Work.  Our Hands.