FAQs

We’re a church that believes that life is an adventure. We are about introducing people to the adventure that a life with Christ can bring, and then challenging and encouraging them to live a life of significance. Whether you have never been to church, you’ve been hundreds of times, or you are returning from a long absence, we invite you to get acquainted with New Creation and, more importantly, to get connected with Christ. Please spend a few minutes to browse the site for more details about the various ways we can meet your family’s needs.

Q. What should I expect at New Creation?

A. You should expect to feel welcomed. Not just by the pastor, but the regular attendees of New Creation. We know how hard it is to try a new church, so we try our best to make you feel welcomed and at home. Generally speaking, you should expect kind and warm people who love others and love God.

Q. What should I wear?

A. When you attend New Creation you’ll find that there is no uniform way to dress. Some people dress up, and most people dress very comfortably. Depending on the time of year, you’ll see both men and women wearing shorts, t-shirts, jeans, and sandals.

Q. How do I meet people?

A. Join us for coffee before or after church. Another way is to take part in one of our ministries or small groups. There are many different ways to get involved. For more info take a look at the Ministries menu, above.

Q. Where do I go when I get there?

A. Our church entrance is easily visible from our parking lot. On Sunday mornings, you’ll find greeters who are happy to help you find the right place for your children, teenagers, and yourselves.

Q. Can I bring my children with me into church?

A. Yes. You may bring your children and teens with you. During the service the children and teens will be excused to Sunday School. Your children or teens are welcome to join in, with a program designed to teach them the Bible on their level or, if you would prefer them to remain with you, the greeters can give you an activity bag with coloring sheets and colored pencils.

Q. Are there other children at New Creation?

A. Yes! Children of all ages attend New Creation and the numbers continue to grow. On a normal Sunday we have a few babies and a toddler or two in the nursery, attended to by a certified caregiver (or one of the other moms). Usually a baby or two will also stay with their parents for the worship service. Grade school kids and Jr. High kids meet in our fellowship hall, outside (on nice days), or sometimes in our office. The teens meet in our Youth Center (the 5th wheel trailer, out front).

Q. What is the current demographic in the community?

A. We are a community of about 80 people. We have children ranging from young babies to high school students. Most of the adults are married and our ages range from early 20s to mid 80s. Most of our community is in the 30-60 range. Many of us indentify ourselves as Lutherans, many come from other faith communities, some consider themselves agnostic, and some are still discovering (or undecided).

Q. Do you expect me to give money?

A. No. We do collect an offering during our service. However, we expect nothing of you except to come and relax and enjoy the morning.

Q. What style of service do you offer?

A. Our 10:00 am Rock Your Soul service is surrounded by modern praise music, led by Daily Bread. It is a casual service that also contains a small amount of liturgy (a set of readings and informal ceremony).

Communion is served every Sunday, and is open to all who are spiritually hungry, including children of all ages. We are an inclusive and reconciling community, offering God’s hospitality to everyone. Communion is God’s gift to all, and Jesus is the host of this meal. More information on this service can be found on our Worship page.

Q. Is New Creation part of a denomination?

A. Yes. New Creation is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Q. Is everyone that attends New Creation Lutheran?

A. No, we are welcoming of all beliefs. Not everyone that attends is Lutheran.

Q. Who is Jesus Christ? A. Jesus is God’s son, sent by God to become human like us. In his life and being he broke through the prison of sinfulness and thus restored the relationship of love and trust that God intended to exist between himself and his children. Though he is eternal, with God at the beginning of time, he was born on earth of a virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was at once truly God and truly human.

The man, Jesus of Nazareth, lived and died in Palestine during the governorship of the Roman administrator Pontius Pilate; we believe him to be the Messiah chosen by God to show his love for the world. He is God, yet with all the limitations of being human. His relationship to God, however, was not one of sin but rather of perfect obedience to the Father’s will. For the sake of a sinful world, Jesus was condemned to death on the cross.

But death could not contain him. On the third day after his execution, the day Christians observe as Easter, Jesus appeared among his followers as the risen, living Lord. By this great victory God has declared the Good News of reconciliation. The gap between all that separates us from our Creator has been bridged. Thus, Christ lives today wherever there are people who faithfully believe in him and wherever the Good News of reconciliation is preached and the Sacraments administered.

Q. What is the Church? A. The Christian church is made up of those who have been baptized and thus have received Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world. Sometimes it is referred to as “the Body of Christ.” Lutherans believe that they are a part of a community of faith that began with the gift of the Holy Spirit, God’s presence with his people, on the day of Pentecost. The church, regardless of the external form it takes, is the fellowship of those who have been restored to God by Christ. Indeed, to be called into fellowship with Christ is also to be called into community with other believers.

The church is essential to Christian life and growth. Its members are all sinners in need of God’s grace. It has no claim on human perfection. The church exists solely for the hearing and doing of God’s Word. It can justify its existence only when it proclaims the living Word of Christ, administers the Sacraments and gives itself to the world in deeds of service and love. Most Lutherans recognize a wider fellowship of churches and are eager to work alongside them in ecumenical ministries and projects.

Q. Why a Lutheran church? A. Martin Luther (b. November 10, 1483, in Eisleben, Germany, d. February 18, 1546 in Eisleben) is known as the Father of Protestantism. He had studied to become a lawyer before becoming an Augustinian monk in 1505, and was ordained a priest in 1507. While continuing his studies in pursuit of a Doctor of Theology degree, he discovered significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the theology and practices of the church. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the church door at Wittenberg University to debate 95 theological issues. Luther’s hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible.

What started as an academic debate escalated to a religious war, fueled by fiery temperaments and violent language on both sides. As a result, there was not a reformation of the church but a separation. “Lutheran” was a name applied to Luther and his followers as an insult but adopted as a badge of honor by them instead.

Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of theology and practice espoused by Luther, such as Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura:

  • We are saved by the grace of God alone — not by anything we do;
  • Our salvation is through faith alone — we only need to believe that our sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake, who died to redeem us;
  • The Bible is the only norm of doctrine and life — the only true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.

Another of Luther’s principles was that Scriptures and worship need to be in the language of the people.

Many Lutherans still consider themselves as a reforming movement within the Church catholic, rather than a separatist movement, and Lutherans have engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other church bodies for decades. In fact, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has entered into cooperative “full communion” agreements with several other Protestant denominations.

Luther’s Small Catechism, which contains teachings on the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism, Confession and Absolution, Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayers, is still used to introduce people to the Lutheran faith, as is the Augsburg Confession. These and other Lutheran confessional documents included in the Book of Concord.

Q. Is Lutheranism the Only True Religion? A. “Do Lutherans believe theirs is the only true religion?” This question was once put to the late Dr. Elson Ruff, editor of The Lutheran. His answer was, “Yes, but Lutherans don’t believe they are the only ones who have it. There are true Christian believers in a vast majority of the churches, perhaps in all.” The ELCA Confession of Faith says “This church confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe …”

Q. How Do Lutherans Look upon the Bible? A. To borrow a phrase from Luther, the Bible is “the manger in which the Word of God is laid.” While Lutherans recognize differences in the way the Bible should be studied and interpreted, it is accepted as the primary and authoritative witness to the church’s faith. Written and transcribed by many authors over a period of many centuries, the Bible bears remarkable testimony to the mighty acts of God in the lives of people and nations. In the Old Testament is found the vivid account of God’s covenant relationship to Israel. In the New Testament is found the story of God’s new covenant with all of creation in Jesus.

The New Testament is the first-hand proclamation of those who lived through the events of Jesus’ life, death, and Resurrection. As such, it is the authority for Christian faith and practice. The Bible is thus not a definitive record of history or science. Rather, it is the record of the drama of God’s saving care for creation throughout the course of history.

Q. What Do Lutherans Believe About Creation? A. Lutherans believe that God is Creator of the universe. Its dimensions of space and time are not something God made once and then left alone. God is, rather, continually creating, calling into being each moment of each day.

Human beings have a unique position in the order of creation. As males and females created in God’s image, we are given the capacity and freedom to know and respond to our creator. Freedom implies that we can choose to respond to God either positively or negatively.

“Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” an ELCA Statement on caring for God’s creation, is available from the ELCA Distribution Service (800/328-4648) free (+ postage and handling). Order Code: 67-1185.

Q. Where Do Lutherans Stand on the Question of Sin? A. Lutherans believe that all people live in a condition which is the result of misused freedom. “Sin” describes not so much individual acts of wrongdoing as fractured relationships between the people of creation and God. Our every attempt to please God falls short of the mark. By the standard of the Law, of which the Ten Commandments are a classic summary, God expresses his just and loving expectations for creation, and our failure to live up to those expectations reveals only our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Q. What Sacraments Do Lutherans Accept? A. Lutherans accept two Sacraments as God-given means for penetrating the lives of people with his grace. Although they are not the only means of God’s self-revelation, Baptism and Holy Communion are visible acts of God’s love.

In Baptism, and it can be seen more clearly in infant Baptism, God freely offers his grace and lovingly establishes a new community. It is in Baptism that people become members of Christ’s Body on earth, the Church. In Holy Communion — often called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist — those who come to the table receive in bread and wine the body and blood of their Lord. This gift is itself the real presence of God’s forgiveness and mercy, nourishing believers in union with their Lord and with each other.

Q. Do Lutherans Believe in Life After Death? A. While there is much we do not and cannot know about life beyond the grave, Lutherans do believe that life with God persists even after death. Judgment is both a present and future reality, and history moves steadily towards God’s ultimate fulfillment.

This of course is a great mystery, and no description of what life may be like in any dimension beyond history is possible. Anxiety for the future is not a mark of faith. Christians should go about their daily tasks, trusting in God’s grace and living a life of service in his name.

Q. What Must a Person Do to Become a Christian? A. Jesus said, ” Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

Q. What Must a Person Do to Become a Lutheran? A. To become a Lutheran, only Baptism and instruction in the Christian faith is required. If you are already baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it will be necessary only to attend a membership class in a Lutheran congregation and thus signify your desire to become a part of its community. Active members of other Lutheran congregations usually need only to transfer their membership.

Q. What is a Lutheran? A. While there are a variety of ways one could answer this question, one very important answer is simply this, “A Lutheran is a person who believes, teaches and confesses the truths of God’s Word as they are summarized and confessed in the Book of Concord.” The Book of Concord contains the Lutheran confessions of faith.

Perhaps you have attended an ordination of a pastor and heard him promise that he will perform the duties of his office in accord with the Lutheran Confessions. When people are received into membership into a Lutheran congretation through confirmation they are asked if they confess the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as they have learned to know it from the Small Catechism, to be faithful and true.

These solemn promises indicate to us just how important the Lutheran Confessions are for our church. Let’s take a look at the various items contained in the Book of Concord and then we will talk about why the Lutheran Confessions are so important for being a Lutheran.

Q. What are the Ecumenical Creeds? A. The three ecumenical creeds in the Book of Concord are the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed and the Athanasian Creed. They are described as “ecumenical” [universal] because they are accepted by Christians worldwide as correct expressions of what God’s Word teaches.

Q. What is the Augsburg Confession and Apology of the Augsburg Confession? A. In the year 1530, the Lutherans were required to present their confession of faith before the emperor in Augsburg, Germany. Philip Melanchthon wrote the Augsburg Confession and it was read before the imperial court on June 30, 1530. One year later, the Lutherans presented their defense of the Augsburg Confession, which is what “apology” here means. It too was written by Philip Melanchthon. The largest document in the Book of Concord, its longest chapter, is devoted to the most important truth of the Christian faith: the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Q. What are the Small and Large Catechisms? A. Martin Luther realized early on how desperately ignorant the laity and clergy of his day were when it came to even the most basic truths of the Christian faith. Around 1530, he produced two small handbooks to help pastors and the heads of families teach the faith.

The Small Catechism and the Large Catechism are organized around six topics: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. So universally accepted were these magnificent doctrinal summaries by Luther, that they were included as part of the Book of Concord.

Q. What are the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope? A. In 1537, Martin Luther was asked to prepare a statement of Lutheran belief for use at a church council, if it was called. Luther’s bold and vigorous confession of faith was later incorporated into the Book of Concord. It was presented to a group of Lutheran rulers meeting in the town of Smalcald. Philip Melanchthon was asked to expand on the subject of the Roman pope and did so in his treatise, which also was included in the Book of Concord.

Q. What is the Formula of Concord? A. After Luther’s death in 1546, significant controversies broke out in the Lutheran Church. After much debate and struggle, the Formula of Concord in 1577 put an end to these doctrinal controversies and the Lutheran Church was able to move ahead united in what it believed, taught and confessed. In 1580, all the confessional writings mentioned here were gathered into a single volume, the Book of Concord. Concord is a word that means, “harmony.” The Formula of Concord was summarized in a version known as the “Epitome” of the Formula of Concord. This document too is included in the Book of Concord.

Q. What is the connection between the Bible and the Confessions? A. We confess that, “The Word of God is and should remain the sole rule and norm of all doctrine” (FC SD, Rule and Norm, 9). What the Bible asserts, God asserts. What the Bible commands, God commands. The authority of the Scriptures is complete, certain and final. The Scriptures are accepted by the Lutheran Confessions as the actual Word of God. The Lutheran Confessions urge us to believe the Scriptures for “they will not lie to you” (LC, V, 76) and cannot be “false and deceitful” (FC SD, VII, 96). The Bible is God’s “pure, infallible, and unalterable Word” (Preface to the BOC).

The Lutheran Confessions are the “basis, rule, and norm indicating how all doctrines should be judged in conformity with the Word of God” (FC SD RN). Because the Confessions are in complete doctrinal agreement with the written Word of God, they serve as the standard in the Lutheran Church to determine what is faithful Biblical teaching, insofar as that teaching is addressed in the Confessions.

Q. What is the main point of the Lutheran Confessions? A. The Lutheran Reformation was not a “revolt,” but rather began as a sincere expression of concern with the false and misleading teachings, which, unfortunately, even to this very day, obscure the glory and merit of Jesus Christ. What motivated Luther was a zealous concern about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is how the Lutheran Confessions explain what the Gospel is all about:

Human beings have not kept the law of God but have transgressed it. Their corrupted human nature, thoughts, words, and deeds battle against the law. For this reason they are subject to God’s wrath, to death and all temporal afflictions, and to the punishment of the fires of hell. As a result, the Gospel, in its strict sense, teaches what people should believe, namely, that they receive from God the forgiveness of sins; that is, that the Son of God, our Lord Christ, has taken upon Himself the curse of the law and borne it, atoned and paid for all our sins; that through Him alone we are restored to God’s grace, obtain the forgiveness of sins through faith and are delivered from death and all the punishments of our sins and are saved eternally. . . . It is good news, joyous news, that God does not want to punish sin but to forgive it for Christ’s sake (FC SD, V, 20).

Q. What is a “confessional” Lutheran? A. The word “confession” is used in a variety of ways, but when we speak of a “confessional” Lutheran we mean a Lutheran who declares to the world his faith and most deeply held belief and conviction, in harmony with the documents contained in the Book of Concord. You will catch the spirit of confessional Lutheranism in these, the last words written in the Book of Concord:

Therefore, it is our intent to give witness before God and all Christendom, among those who are alive today and those who will come after us, that the explanation here set forth regarding all the controversial articles of faith which we have addressed and explained–and no other explanation–is our teaching, faith, and confession. In it we shall appear before the judgment throne of Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, with fearless hearts and thus give account of our faith, and we will neither secretly nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it. Instead, on the strength of God’s grace, we intend to abide by this confession (FC SD, XII, 40).

Q. What is an “unconditional subscription” to the Confessions? A. Confessional Lutheran pastors are required to “subscribe” unconditionally to the Lutheran Confessions because they are a pure exposition of the Word of God. This is the way our pastors, and every layman who confesses his belief in the Small Catechism, is able with great joy and without reservation or qualification to say what it is that he believes to be the truth of God’s Word.

Dr. C. F. W. Walther, the Missouri Synod’s first president, explained the meaning of an unconditional confessional subscription in words as clear and poignant today as they were then:

An unconditional subscription is the solemn declaration which the individual who wants to serve the church makes under oath that he accepts the doctrinal content of our Lutheran Confessions, because he recognizes the fact that they are in full agreement with Scripture and do not militate against Scripture in any point, whether the point be of major or minor importance; and that he therefore heartily believes in this divine truth and is determined to preach this doctrine.

Q. So what is it to be a Lutheran? A. Being a Lutheran is being a person who believes the truths of God’s Word, the Holy Bible, as they are correctly explained and taught in the Book of Concord. To do so is to confess the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Genuine Lutherans, confessional Lutherans, dare to insist that “All doctrines should conform to the standards [the Lutheran Confessions] set forth above. Whatever is contrary to them should be rejected and condemned as opposed to the unanimous declaration of our faith” (FC Ep. RN, 6).

Such a statement may strike some as boastful. But it is not; rather, it is an expression of the Spirit-led confidence that moves us to speak of our faith before the world.

To be a confessional Lutheran is to be one who honors the Word of God. That word makes it clear that it is God’s desire for His church to be in agreement about doctrine, and to be of one mind, living at peace with one another (1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11). It is for that reason that we so treasure the precious confession of Christian truth that we have in the Book of Concord. For Confessional Lutherans, there is no other collection of documents, or statements or books that so clearly, accurately and comfortingly presents the teachings of God’s Word and reveals the Biblical Gospel as does our Book of Concord.

Hand-in-hand with our commitment to pure teaching and confession of the faith, is, and always must be, our equally strong commitment to reaching out boldly with the Gospel and speaking God’s truth to the world. That is what “confession” of the faith is all about, in the final analysis. Indeed, “It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13). This is what it means to be a Lutheran.

Facebook

Get the Facebook Likebox Slider Pro for WordPress
Google+