EVANGELICAL¬† COMMUNITY¬† CHURCH ‚Äď LUTHERAN
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF CHRIST
Presenting a kinder and gentler version of Lutheran Christianity, we are The Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran, a small theologically conservative denomination within Lutheranism's Evangelical Catholic Tradition. Our national headquarters and theological seminary, Wittenberg Lutheran Seminar, are in Kansas City, Missouri, and parishes are located in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Maryland, and Missouri. Missions are under development in eight other states. There are also ethnic Vietnamese, and ethnic Sudanese components.†The Bishops and Clergy of the ECCL are in the historic Apostolic Succession through several lineages including the Duarte-Costa lineage of the Rebiban (or Vatican) Succession among others. For information about specific Apostolic Lineages, please contact the Archbishop. The Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran is a member of the Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion and the Sudanese Council of Churches USA.
A LUTHERAN CHURCH IN THE EVANGELICAL CATHOLIC TRADITION
It has been written that all Roman Catholics are Catholics, but not all Catholics are Roman. All Lutheran denominations are part of what Comparative Religion scholars call "The Catholic Family of Churches". Lutheran worship is liturgical, centered on the altar instead of the pulpit, and follows the "Mass format." As Evangelical Catholics, however, part of a pan - Lutheran movement to reclaim the fullness of Lutheranism's catholic faith and heritage leading to an eventual reunion with the Roman Catholic Church, our worship resembles that of the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church more than that of most other Lutherans. The ECCL uses all of the historic liturgies, ceremonies and devotional customs of Western Catholic Christianity modified only when absolutely required by Lutheran liturgical principles or local circumstances. The use of the many sacramental rites and "aids to devotion" common throughout Western Catholic Christianity is encouraged for those who find them helpful, but is not mandatory. Their significance and the underlying theology supporting their use is also understood somewhat differently by Evangelical Catholic Lutherans.
As Lutherans, we believe, teach and confess that God is Love and continually acts to draw all people to Himself. God has never left Himself without witnesses among any people at any time. However, humanity is lost apart from the saving grace of God which is available to all through the sacrifice on the cross of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for the sins of the whole World. Our emphasis is not on judgment, guilt, personal decisions and responsibility, or works righteousness, but instead on God's grace, warmth, forgiveness, acceptance and love. (Gen 15:6, Ps 19:1-4, Ps 139:7-12; Jn 1:12; Acts 14:17; Rom 1: 16-17; 3:28; Eph 2:8-10)
As Lutherans, we believe, teach, and confess that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone. This saving faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior is given to us by the Holy Spirit. It is not the result of any good works, diligent prayers, our own decision to accept Christ. Christ has already accepted us, and our saving faith leads us into good works as a response in gratitude to God for his gift of grace. We believe, teach, and confess that this saving faith in Jesus Christ is fed and strengthened by hearing the Word and receiving the Holy Sacraments and Sacramental Rites of the Church. (Gen 15:16; Jn 1:12, 3:16; Rom 1:16-17, 5:1, 3:28, Eph 2:8-9)
Churches are Bible churches. As Lutherans, we believe, teach, and confess
that God has revealed Himself progressively through the ages in the Books
of the Old Testament (including the Apocrypha) and the New Testament,
which are the word of God. We also believe, teach and confess that the
historical Jesus is accurately presented in the Bible, and that it also
contains everything necessary for our salvation.
Insofar as they are trustworthy witnesses to the Gospel, we accept the remainder of The Book of Concord (1580) with certain modifications in Sacramental Theology and Principles of Church Government derived from the (Lutheran) Church of Sweden and the Oxford Movement of the Anglican Communion.
Insofar as they are trustworthy witnesses to the Gospel, we also accept the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils of the Church, counting the Council of Jerusalem reported in The Acts of the Apostles (15:1-22) and Galatians (2:1-10) as the first. We subscribe to the Lutheran/Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Augsburg, GE, 1999.
We recognize and respect the Pope as the Bishop of Rome, Patriarch of the West, Successor to St. Peter, Vicar of Christ, and a prayer is said for him in our communion liturgy. (Ps 119:1-5; Jn 17:17; 2Tim 3:16; Rev 22:18- 19)
The ECCL endorses the Kansas City Declaration on Marriage and the Colorado Statement on Biblical Sexual Morality.
A WORSHIPPING COMMUNITY
The Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran and the Augustana Evangelical Catholic Communion, of which it is a member, retains the Catholic Sacramental System of seven Sacraments (Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Reconciliation/Penance, Unction, Holy Matrimony/Marriage, and Holy Orders/Ordination). Mass (Holy Communion) is celebrated at all services in our parishes on Sundays and Holy Days. Masses may also be celebrated for specific intentions. All baptized Christians who believe that Christ is really present in, with and under the bread and wine are invited to receive Communion at our altar. Baptism is administered on request. For Infant Baptisms, no parent's or godparent's classes are required, though they are required before Adult Baptism or Confirmation. Private Confession (the Sacramental Rite of Reconciliation) is available before Mass or by appointment. The Sacramental Rite of Holy Unction (for healing as well as for "last rites") is administered upon request. (Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22: 17-20; Acts 2: 24; 1Cor 11:17-29)
As an Evangelical Catholic Lutheran denomination, we emphasize God's love, warmth, forgiveness and acceptance. We believe, teach and confess that God works to draw all of His beloved children to Himself through His free, unsolicited, and unconditional gift of salvation by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone, then gently leads and nurtures us through Word and Sacrament. In loving response to His free gift of truly amazing grace, our gratitude leads us to share God's love with those around us, with true concern for both their spiritual welfare and physical well-being. As recipients of and witnesses of His grace and favor, we enthusiastically work as Christ's agents in the very midst of our secular humanist culture. We welcome the opportunity to strengthen and care for our all fellow human beings as we present Jesus Christ and His message of salvation to the entire world. (Mt 28:19-20; Lk 24: 46-49 Jn 1: 12-13; Jn 3:16; 2Cor 5)
To become a member of an ECCL parish, you need only to attend a brief series of conversations about the basic teachings of Lutheran Christianity as presented in The Unaltered Augsburg Confession and Father Martin Luther's Small Catechism followed by Baptism and Adult Confirmation or Affirmation of Faith. Or, simply present a letter of transfer or release from a congregation of any Lutheran denomination. Associate Membership is available for those who wish to keep their primary membership elsewhere. To find a parish near you, please check the listings below or contact the National Headquarters.
ORDINATION AND PARISH AFFILIATION
Wittenberg Lutheran Seminar offers a program leading to ordination and assignment as a priest or deacon of the Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran. For more information and a prospectus, please contact the Archbishop.
Those already ordained may enter the Ministerium of the Evangelical Community Church - Lutheran as priests or deacons through incardination. For information about this process, please contact the Archbishop.
Properly designated representatives of Lutheran congregations interested
in exploring the possibility of becoming parishes of the Evangelical Community
Church - Lutheran should contact the Archbishop.
Office of the Archbishop
Office of the Archbishop's Advisor for Specialized Ministries
Office of the Canon Monsignor for Ecumenical Affairs
Office of the Vicar
General for African Churches
Office of the Vicar-General
of Our Lady of La Vang
Office of the Archbishop and Ethnarch
District of the Martyrs of Africa
Office of the Vicar General
Missionary District of All Africa
Office of the Vicar General
The theological seminary of the Evangelical Community Church – Lutheran. Enrollment is limited to members of the ECCL who have been formally admitted as Postulants for ordination as Priests and Deacons of this denomination.
of the Rector and Provost
Our Lady of La Vang
Lutheran Church ECCL
Oratory of the Martyrs
of the Chesapeake ECCL
Christ: The Life Giver Lutheran Church ECCL
Benedict of Africa Lutheran Church ECCL
St. Michael's Lutheran
CHURCHES IN FULL COMMUNION
Association of Independent Evangelical Lutheran Churches
CHARTERED INDEPENDENT MINISTRIES
Chartered Independent Ministries are organizations belonging to other denominations, and are led by clergy who belong to other denominations. These Ministries are not agencies of the ECCL, nor are they under the ECCL's ecclesiastical oversight in any way. The Independent Ministry Charter does not imply any form of Communion with them or with the Church to which they belong. The Independent Ministry Charter is nothing more than the ECCL's unique way of endorsing these fine organizations and their activities.
St. Anthony of Padua
© - Copyright 2005 - The Most. Rev. Irl A.Gladfelter