We believe in the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe God is one God, in three persons. We believe in God as the creator of all that exists. We believe God is eternal and uncreated.
Perhaps the most important religious question to be asked in all of the world is "who is Jesus?" We believe Jesus is the Son of God. The Apostles and Nicene Creeds are faithful confessions of the truth of Jesus. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. He is God having taken on human flesh (John 1:14). He is fully 100% God. He is fully 100% human man. He was born sinless and lived without sin. He died without sin to pay the price for the sins of the whole world (John 1:29). We believe Jesus was truthful when He said "I am the way, and the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me" in John 14:6. By this Jesus proclaims there is only salvation for all the world through Him. That is the genuine and only Christian belief on salvation.
For further reading on the question "Who is Jesus?" we invite you to read this excellent article from LCMS.org (link)
We believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. We stand behind the phrase "The Bible is the Word of God." We believe the Bible is the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe the words of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:21 which explain how all Scripture was "breathed out by God" and how "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." These Scriptures reject any teaching that the Bible is the words of man alone. Rather, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 highlights that because Scripture is from God it is profitable for "teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness." We further believe, that since Scripture is from God is it inerrant, or without error. We reject any human interpretations which seek to force contradiction or error into the Scriptures. With great comfort are we able to look at the Scriptures knowing they are inspired and inerrant and as such able to deliver us life and salvation as promised in Christ.
We believe the Genesis account of the beginning of the world. God created all the universe in six ordinary (24-hour) days. This establishes the created origin of the human race in the first parents Adam and Eve. We believe all life had its origin in the creation of God according to its kinds as Genesis records. We believe in the historical timeline given in Scripture which rejects the possibility of millions and billions of years. We believe that acceptance of the Genesis account and the authority of Scripture is important to the Christian faith as is the acceptance of all of God's Word. A denial of the Genesis account alongside an acceptance of old earth ages is incompatible with the teachings of the rest of Scripture. Jesus Himself spoke of the authority of Genesis. An acceptance of old ages during the days of creation allows for sin and death to be in God's good creation before mankind's fall in Genesis 3. This contradicts the doctrine of atonement that sin and death are the result of man and Jesus work on the cross the only fix and salvation for it.
Christians need to rightly understand that the Bible is not against science. The battle of views in the world is not between religion and science. It is a battle of worldviews. The scientific evidence is the same for all people, our worldview-biased interpretation of that evidence is where things begin to differ. Christians should also understand that in matters of observational science, that is elements of our world that can be readily observed, the Bible and the Christian worldview are in complete agreement with science. It is only in matters of historical science, or things that are in the past and no longer observable, that certain scientific interpretations are at odds with the Bible.
On the topic of evolution, we recognize two types of evolution: micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Macro (or large) evolution is the classic Darwinian view of evolution that life is the result of large changes over vast amounts of time. This view which teaches life having evolved from simplistic single-cell forms into the complex forms we see today is at odds with observational science and also rejected by the clear teaching of Scripture. On the other hand, we do believe in micro (or small) evolution in which we can readily observe small changes in organisms from one generation to the next. We believe the created "kinds" of animals that God created in the beginning are the source of all the variety of life in the world today. These animals have evolved and changed over time but only within their created kinds. Cats evolve into different types of cats but after time remain cats.
On the positive side: we believe Genesis 1:31 "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." God is good and everything that He has made is good. All that is bad can be traced to Genesis 3 and the fall of mankind. Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God's command. They ate from the forbidden tree and so they sinned. With their sin, suffering and death also entered creation. Before this sin there would have been no death either amongst humans or the animals. As a part of the consequence of sin God explains to them the curse that is on them and on this creation. They will know pain and suffering with their sin. The creation will also groan and know suffering with floods, droughts, and other natural disaster. These hardships are all the result of the sin of man.
Even today, we still believe suffering and death to be the ultimate result of sin. Not all suffering is the direct result of any one particular sin, but moreso the result of the sin of all and the curse that lies upon all because of sin.
We believe hell is eternal forsakenness from God. Hell is to be separated from the presence of God. While the Scriptures are clear that God loves us all, that God desires all to be saved, and that Jesus has indeed died on the cross to pay for all sin, the Scriptures also make it clear God will not force salvation upon us. For those who persist in their rejection of God and His free gift of grace remains the condemnation of hell and separation from the very God they have rejected.
The objective of Christian witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ is to avoid any falling into this eternal condemnation. The love Jesus preaches for all is what drives all Christians to share this good news of salvation and life in Christ.
We believe in the Biblical and historical definition of marriage. One man and one woman. God establishes marriage with this singular identity in Genesis 2 with the first man and woman. Marriage is a God-given institution for the procreation and raising of children in this family structure. Marriage is also given that man and woman might delight and find companionship in one another.
We are a little bit of both. The order and basic elements of our worship are traditional in that we see incredible value in continuing to use the traditional and historical elements of Christian worship. This helps us retain our authentic Christian identity. This also continues to help us take advantage of all the benefits therein. Confessing our sins, hearing the Word of God read and preached to us and offering up prayers, to name a few, are wonderfully important parts of Christian worship. We are also contemporary in that we bring in new styles of music to supplement the hymns we still sing from our hymnals. We use prayers and confessions with themes fitting of the day to help us connect to the Scriptures.
At Grace we seek to offer authentically Lutheran Christian worship in which we believe the one true God comes to us with His gifts and we respond with prayer, praise, and thanks. The messages and themes proclaim God's Word from the Bible. The Pastors connect with people in relevant and impactful messages and themes that help us to see how God is at work in our lives. We have displays (TV monitors) up front used to share images, and video and assist in the worship service. It is a worship service for all ages and all people.
While the Bible teaches the Good News is for all people and our worship is open to everyone, the Bible also teaches we exercise with discernment who is to take Communion. The Bible warns against taking Communion in an unworthy manner (1 Cor. 11:27,29). The Bible also teaches of the unity, oneness, and communion we share when we receive the Lord's body and blood (1 Cor. 10:17).
For those reasons we are only able to commune those who have been properly instructed in the Lutheran church and share in the same confession and beliefs as we do. We practice in this way out of faithfulness to Jesus' teaching and genuinely see it as a practice of love for us all.
We would strongly encourage you to contact the Pastor with any questions and concerns regarding this question.
Absolutely! We offer a Bible Study in the gymnasium every Sunday of the year and everyone is welcome to attend. If you arrive here and are unsure of where to go we have plenty of helpful and kind individuals who would be happy to direct. There are also coffee, donuts, and fruit shared during Bible Study.
While historically people were very formal in their dress for worship at Grace, today things have relaxed much as they have done in most churches. You are certainly welcome for worship in whatever attire makes you comfortable (shirts, shoes, and pants at least, please!).
Having said all that, we still recognize that our gathering for worship is in the house of the Holy, Creator God. This makes it a very appropriate, though not required, practice for individuals to want to "dress for the occasion". Whatever decision you are moved to make just know that you will be welcome and loved here.
There are a handful of variables that cause the length of our services to vary. When there is no communion and no other special events services may go 45-50 minutes. A regular communion service may go 60-70 minutes. The pastors do their very best to foster a worship environment in which we are both partaking of all the gifts that God has to offer in a non-rushed, comfortable manner and also respectful of people's valuable time.
We love children to be in worship! The Pastor regularly tells young parents to bring the children into the service. Our Senior Pastor has raised all of his own kids here in worship and knows what its like to have little ones with noises and sounds and all.
We encourage parents with children of all ages to help their little ones learn to participate by joining in prayers, learning to sing, and listening to the readings from the Bible. At every Sunday service we have a Children's Message in which the pastor will give the kids a message with illustration that typically ties into the main message of the day.
For those times when little kids are having a rough morning, we do have a nursery that parent and child can retreat to for a few minutes. There is a television in the nursery so that families can still follow what's happening in the service without missing out.
It is part of our mission to help children and families grow in faith and being present is a part of that!
This is a question of very personal pastoral care, but typically the answer is "yes". We would invite you to contact our church office or one of our pastors for more information. We do believe baptism is one of the greatest gifts God offers to us to grant us forgiveness and to call us His own. We also believe in the importance of continued growth in the faith after baptism by becoming active in a congregation and one's faith.
This is the teaching of Holy Scripture. We believe that Baptism offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Christ. We also believe in accordance with Scripture that our babies, sweet and innocent as they may be, are born with sin. In Psalm 51, King David writes "in sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:). Since babies are born with sin, and the soul who sins shall die (Ezek 18:20), it follows that babies need the very gifts that baptism offers us.
As amazing as the gifts received in Baptism are, the service itself is quite simple and sweet. We typically perform baptisms during our Sunday morning or Monday evening worship services. We see Baptism as part of the life of the congregation and love for the whole congregation to celebrate each one. The family and sponsors gather with the pastor around the baptismal font up front. They read together through a short service of God's Word, prayer and then the baptism itself. It takes less than 10 minutes but is wonderfully rich in its eternal blessings. The actual baptism involves the sprinkling and pouring of water over the head of the candidate while God's Word is read.
If you have even more questions about the Lutheran Church or the Christian faith we invite you to Contact one of our pastors. You can also go to the F.A.Q. for the LCMS which is a wonderful resource of questions and answers regarding Christian teachings and life's big questions.