For Lutherans, worship stands at the center of our life of faith. Through God’s word, water, bread and prayer we are nurtured in faith and sent out into the world.
Connected with and central to everything we do, worship unites us in celebration, engages us in thoughtful dialogue and helps us grow in faith. It grounds us in our Christian and Lutheran roots, while demonstrating practical relevance for today’s world.
While some of the approaches to worship may differ from one ELCA congregation to another, we hold certain things in common. Central to our worship life is the presence of God through word and sacrament. The word proclaimed and the sacraments —both Holy Baptism and Holy Communion — are called the means of grace. We believe that Jesus Christ is present in these means through the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we describe worship as a “gathering around the means of grace.”
There is also a basic pattern for worship among Lutherans. We gather. We encounter God’s word. We share a meal at the Lord’s table. And we are sent into the world. But we do not think about worship so much in terms of what we do. Worship is fundamentally about what God is doing and our response to God’s action. Worship is an encounter with God, who saves us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.