What is Lutheranism and the ELCIC?
Peace belongs to a church body named the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, which consists of about 640 congregations throughout Canada. You may have not heard very much about Lutherans and Lutheranism here in Canada due to our small numbers, but there are lots of us around the world. In fact, Lutheranism is one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world, with over 90 million followers worldwide. Our numbers are growing drastically in some parts of the world – especially in the Southern hemisphere. Our theology is shaped by the thoughts of German theologian and monk, Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther taught that salvation and eternal life are not something humans can achieve through their own actions and behaviour, but rather they are God’s gifts, freely given to us through God’s grace. Also, Luther thought it important for each person to be able to study the Bible and to participate in worship in their own native language, and so he translated the Bible into German and created a German version of the Latin mass. Luther’s criticism of the practices of the Catholic church resulted in him being excommunicated from the church and this, in turn, eventually led to the birth of the Protestant movement. In recent years, conversations between the Lutheran church and the Catholic church have resulted in a deepening relationship and re-examination of the position of each church body.
Here at Peace, we remember the spirit of reformation in our daily practices and try to shape our worship and study in ways that reflect contemporary realities. We use inclusive language and shape our worship services in such a way that they welcome people who have never been to church before as well as those faithful disciples that have called Peace home for decades. Most importantly, we rejoice in the freely given gift of God’s grace and love and live out our lives and the disciples of Jesus.