The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us, as the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world. We are a church that is always being made new, and at the same time, is deeply rooted in Scripture, Lutheran theology and Lutheran confessions. We are also rooted in the vibrant, diverse communities and rich histories of our congregations. It’s through these roots that the Holy Spirit guides and nourishes us so that we can be a church that is both resilient and always new. We welcome you to join this community of faith — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — regardless of your age, race, gender, life experience, complexities and questions. You have a unique story that can only add to the richness of the larger story that makes up the ELCA. There is a place for you here!
Claimed by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we are a new creation through God’s living word by the power of the Holy Spirit;Gathered by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will live among God’s faithful people, hear God’s word and share Christ’s supper;Sent by God’s grace for the sake of the world, we will proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, serve all people following the example of our Lord Jesus, and strive for justice and peace in all the world.Living into the Future Together The Living into the Future Together: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA report presented to the 2011 ELCA Church wide Assembly focused on the future identity of this church as it faces the challenges posed by the major changes that have occurred in both our culture and the ELCA since this church’s founding in 1988. The 2011 Church wide Assembly endorsed the work of the task force and supported its future work in collaboration with other church bodies and committees.
A merger of three Lutheran churches formed the ELCA in 1988. They were The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America. Now 25 years later, the ELCA is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world. We trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.