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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Denying our name?

Some mission congregations don't say they're ''Lutheran'

Two mission congregations have opened in our synod. Their names don't say they are Lutheran. Are we backing away from who we are as we try to reach people?

Not necessarily. To be truly Lutheran is to be Christ-centered. This is who we are. Church names need to communicate clearly that Christ is our center. A generic church name does not necessarily draw visitors.

The term "Lutheran" may be unfamiliar or a stumbling block in some areas. Even in those places, we seek to remain who we are by preaching God's word of law and gospel that we confess is the heart of Christian faith. People today need this as much as ever.

Our worship and solid educational ministry, along with service in our community, must live and breathe the insights of the Lutheran understanding of the faith. All ELCA congregations, old and new, need to know and clearly express what it means to be Lutheran Christians.


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