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Who are Lutherans?

Lutherans are Christian in the Protestant tradition, in fact, Lutherans were the first Protestants. In 1517, Martin Luther, then an Augustinian monk and scholar, protested against the Roman Catholic Church by posting his disagreements, known as the Ninety-Five Theses, to the door of the Cathedral Church in Wittenberg, Germany. At the core of Luther’s dispute with the Catholic Church was the teaching on the nature of our salvation. Lutherans believe we are justified by faith alone (Romans 5.1): that is, we are saved by God’s grace, which we receive through faith in the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), and not through our good works.   

Lutherans believe Jesus Christ is the true born son of God and became our Lord. In an act of Love, God became human to take upon the Godself our human condition and our sin to free us from the bondage of sin and death and to restore our relationship with God. In Jesus Christ, we are made known of God’s endless love for humanity and God’s gift of grace to a broken and ever-seeking world. We recognize we are simultaneously sinner and saint, but it is in the crucified and resurrected Christ that we experience grace, mercy, freedom, and newness of life.   

The bible is an integral part of our faith journey. However, we do not take the bible literally as we acknowledge the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to the faithful to record so we can experience scripture through the lens of God’s grace. Lutherans study the bible by examining its meaning through biblical criticism. The bible is the story of God’s enduring love for humanity and all creation, and through reading and studying the Bible, we become part of that story. The bible is also the story of relationship: Relationship with the Triune God who gives us comfort, purpose, and hope through the Good News that Jesus Christ bore the cross, died, and rose again for the salvation of the world.  

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcomes our neighbors, but we recognize this has not always been the case. We understand the harm that has been caused by our white, largely Northern European, heritage and we repent for those transgressions. We know we are not where we want to be but we are working towards becoming a multi-ethnic denomination that reflects the diversity of the Kingdom of God. This may mean we are under construction, but our doors are still open and we invite you in. So, whether you are a person of color, disabled or immigrant, LGBTQ+ or straight, male, female or gender-nonconforming, young or old, churched or unchurched – there is a place for you in the Lutheran Church.  

At Peace, our worship on Sunday mornings is liturgical, but not antiquated, and it reflects the diversity of our communities and theology. In weekly worship, we experience God’s grace through the Word – reading the First (Old) and Second (New) Testament, and preaching – and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. 

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Who are Lutherans?

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a vibrant and diverse Christian denomination committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through love, compassion, and service. With over 9,000 congregations across the United States, totaling approximately 3.3 million members, the ELCA is a thriving community of faith rooted in the Lutheran tradition.

 

As one of the largest Christian denominations in the country, the ELCA is organized into 65 synods, each serving a specific geographical region. These synods provide support, resources, and guidance to congregations and ministries within their boundaries, fostering a sense of connection and collaboration throughout the denomination.

 

Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the ELCA is led by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and an elected Church Council. Together, they provide leadership and direction for the church, guiding its mission and ministry efforts both domestically and globally.

 

At its core, the ELCA is a welcoming and inclusive church that embraces diversity, values community, and seeks to make a positive impact in the world. Through worship, fellowship, education, and service, the ELCA invites all people to experience the transformative love of God and join in the mission of proclaiming Christ's peace and justice to all creation.

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ELCA
Metro DC Synod

The Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a dynamic and diverse expression of Lutheran faith serving the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Comprising 72 congregations spread across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, our synod is a vibrant community of believers dedicated to sharing God's love and grace with all people.

 

Our synod is led by Bishop Leila M. Ortiz, a compassionate and visionary leader who provides spiritual guidance, support, and pastoral care to congregations and ministries within our synod. With a deep commitment to fostering collaboration and unity, Bishop Ortiz encourages congregations to engage in mission and outreach efforts that address the needs of our local communities and beyond.

 

Through worship, education, advocacy, and service, the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod seeks to embody the inclusive and reconciling love of Christ, welcoming all who seek a place of belonging and spiritual growth. Together, we strive to live out our shared values of justice, mercy, and compassion, working towards a world where all are valued, respected, and empowered to live abundant and meaningful lives in Christ.

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