Our Faith

crosses from Zion's sanctuary
Various crosses from Zion’s sanctuary

Visitors to a church are often curious about what a church believes and teaches.  We encourage you to join us for worship or Bible study; that is a great way to find out!  You can learn this by joining us in our ministries.  On this page we offer a summary of what we believe about God and how God interacts with our lives.

Let’s begin with the most basic question:  Who is God? We share a common faith with other Christians in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  (see Matthew 20:19)  By God the Father, we mean the one who created the heavens and the earth.   (see Genesis 1:1)

By God the Son, we mean Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who died on a cross for our sins and rose from the dead (see John 3:16).  Here is a picture of various crosses in our sanctuary.  The cross tells us much about who God is, specifically how far God would go to save us.

By God the Holy Spirit we mean the Spirit that was there at the beginning of all creation and enlivens the hearts of all believers. (see Genesis 1:2; 2 Corinthians 3:6)

 

Baptism Font
Baptism Font in Zion’s Sanctuary

If this is who God is, then how do we experience God?

We come to experience God through the love we experience in our congregation. (see John 13:35; Philemon 1:7)  We come to experience God through preaching and teaching. (see Romans 10:17)

We come to experience God through the Bible.  We accept the Bible as God’s Word, as the true source of Christian guidance and teaching.  We proclaim God’s message of both Law (what God wants) and Gospel (what God has done for us).  (see 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12)

As a Lutheran church, we also believe we come to know God through our Baptism, when God claims us as a beloved Child of God.  We are marked with the cross of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit. (see Ephesians 4:30).  We also believe we experiene God’s presence in the bread and wine of Holy Communion. 

Certainly we experience God’s presence outside of the church as well.  We believe that Sunday is not the only “God time” of the week.  Our weekly worship provdes us a promised opportunity for us to encounter the living God, repent, be healed and sent back out into the world as Jesus’ disciples. 

 

 

Zion's Organ
Zion’s Organ

Our mission statement talks about Sharing God’s Gifts…What are the Gifts of God?

God has given us ever-lasting life through Jesus Christ.  This means even though we die, we will live with God forever!  (see John 11:25)

We receive the gift of everlasting life by the gift of faith. (see Ephesians 2:8)

God also has given us all that we have — our time, our talents and our possessions (as we say each week in our offering prayer during worship).  

God has also given us our worship service, a chance for us to hear his Word and sing God’s praises!

At Zion’s, we love our music!  We worship with organ, piano and occasionally guitar, drums, flute, and trumpet.  We sing hymns from a variety of time periods, including hymns written in the last generation.

What does God expect from us?

The easist explanation of what God expects from us is what Jesus teaches:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength and soul” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (see Matthew 22:37-40)

We believe that each baptized Christian, whether young or old, must commit themselves to living as a disciple of Jesus Christ, namely, loving God and loving neighbor.  This is where we share the gifts of God and reflect Christ — when we, as disciples, love our neighbor, especially when times are tough.

How is that possible to love?

Our church does not believe that we as humans on earth can obtain moral perfection.  So each week we confess our sins.  (see 1 John 1:8-10)

But God also does give us strength, through the community, through prayer and through his Word to live as his disciples.

Can you summarize all of this?

Sure.  Our logo brings this all together.  At the center is the cross, where Jesus died.  This is center of our life together, the place where we received forgiveness and everlasting life.  Surrounding everything are the seven doves, representing the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We believe that God has equipped us with gifts to share in this world.  As we share our gifts in this world, we discover not only the sinfulness of the world, but also our own limitations, brokenness and sin.  This returns us to the cross, to receive Christ’s mercy and resurrection power!

 

Is our faith “Lutheran”?  What does it mean to be “Lutheran”?

What has been said (or seen) on this page comes out of the Lutheran tradition.  We recognize that Lutherans have no monopoly on truth within the Christian fold and many of the beliefs on this page would be in full concord with what other Christian churches teach.  If you have more questions on distinctive elements of Lutheran theology, please contact the church; we’d love to share!

What if I still have questions?

 We welcome you to

* Join us for worship on a Sunday or Wednesday

* Come to a Bible study, either on Sunday, Wednesday or Saturday mornings

* Watch our services or listen to the sermon’s online

* Contact Pastor Caitlin or another staff member in the congregation

* Read our newsletters

Sharing God's Gifts