The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, God works to restore and reconcile communities in Jesus Christ's name throughout the world.
The ELCA confesses the Triune God Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.
ELCA teaching or theology does not have an answer for all questions, not even all religious questions, but prepares members to be witnesses in speech and in action of God's rich mercy in Jesus Christ.
The ELCA's official Confession of Faith identifies the following as the basis for our teaching:
- Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (commonly called the Bible)
- The Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds
- The Lutheran confessional writings in the Book of Concord
ELCA congregations make the same affirmation in their governing documents, and ELCA pastors promise to preach and teach in accordance with these teaching sources. Every Sunday in worship ELCA congregations gather to hear God's word from the Scriptures, pray as Jesus taught and come to the Lord's Table expecting to receive the mercies that the Triune God promises.
Throughout the week ELCA members continue to live by faith, serving others freely and generously in all that they do because they trust God's promise in the Gospel. This faith saturates all of life. The daily life-giving work of the Holy Spirit creates, strengthens and sustains faith in Jesus Christ and the life we have in him. As Martin Luther explained in the Small Catechism:
"The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith."
The Gloria Dei Constitution contains the bylaws and continuing resolutions that constitute the purpose and functions of the church. This constitution incorporates the Amendments to the Constitution as approved by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.