You are loved by God
And welcome in the Lutheran Church!
Emmanuel Lutheran Church is a community of about 500 households located in the heart of Vienna, Virginia, just off of Chain Bridge Road. We welcome all to
- worship God
- love and serve your neighbors as Jesus commanded
- feel the stirrings of the Holy Spirit guiding you to live out your callings here on earth
About the ELCA
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the largest Lutheran group in North America, founded in 1988 when three North American Lutheran church bodies united.
As a congregation of the ELCA, we value
- Dignity, compassion and justice
Each person is created in God’s image. We respect this God-given right to dignity and, inspired by the life of Jesus, show love and compassion for all people. Through proclamation of the gospel, through worship and as servants of God working for healing and justice in the world, we uphold and seek to protect the dignity and human rights of all people.
As a people of God, we embody forgiveness in speech, action and relationships, and our ministry in reconciliation is foundational.
- Inclusion and diversity
As Christ’s church, we value the richness of God’s creation and offer a radical welcome to all people, appreciating our common humanity and our differences. We are a church that does not view diversity as a barrier to unity. We recognize and will challenge dynamics of power and privilege that create barriers to participation and equity in this church and society.
- Courage and openness to change
Because we trust in God’s promise and understand faith to be a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, we are emboldened to embrace learning and change in our spiritual and institutional journey as church. This means we are open to new ways and willing to take risks to discover God’s plan for this church.
What is a Lutheran?
Lutherans are Christians and followers of Jesus’ teachings. We believe we are saved by God’s grace of unconditional love, forgiveness, and eternal life given through Jesus Christ.
As people of God’s grace, we are called to love God, God’s beloved creation and ALL of God’s children. We live out our faith by serving others and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ for all.
Abbreviated Lutheran history
The Lutheran Church is a Christian denomination that grew out of the Reformation of the 16th century. Martin Luther, a Catholic monk, realized in reading the Bible that we are justified (made right with God) through the grace of Jesus Christ, and not through anything we do – we simply respond in faith by trusting that we are loved and saved by God. This central Lutheran belief is called “justification by grace through faith.”
The word “Lutheran” came to mean anyone who adhered to Martin Luther’s theology, believing in the great three principles of “Grace Alone,” “Faith Alone,” and “Scripture Alone.” To this day, these principles form the very essence of Lutheranism
- We are saved by the grace of God alone – not by anything we as humans do
- Our salvation is through faith alone – a confident trust in God, who promises us forgiveness, life and salvation
- The Bible provides a basis for our faith and understanding of Jesus Christ