WORD ALONE, FAITH ALONE
The Bible is our highest authority. We are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. We are saved by the grace of God.
What We Believe
Lutherans believe in the Triune God. God created and loves all of creation - the earth and the seas and all of the world’s inhabitants.
We believe that God's Son, Jesus Christ, transforms lives through his death on the cross and his resurrection, and we trust that God's Spirit is active in the world.
We are part of God’s unfolding plan. When we gather for worship, we connect with believers everywhere.
When we study the Bible or hear God’s word in worship, we are drawn more deeply into God’s own saving story.
What is a Lutheran?
Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time.
On October 31, he posted a challenge on the door of Wittenberg University, title "95 Theses" (to debate 95 theological issues).
His hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible, particularly around emphasizing God's compassion, generosity, and love for all creation and following Jesus' footsteps in solidarity with the powerless and poor.
If one were to summarize Luther's message, this is what it would be: word alone, faith alone, grace alone.
St. Matthew Trinity lives this message by believing it is only God's compassion for us that can save us, not any works we do. We are a place where tradition and inclusivity meet - embracing the best of the traditions of the past we continue to embody Luther's reforming spirit, welcoming women and LGBT people to all levels of leadership in the church; acting in solidarity with those who are homeless, undocumented, or in recovery. We envision a world where all people are fed, brought into community and experience the wideness of God's compassion.
There is a place for you here. Join us on this journey.
This community is part of the
This church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the door of Wittenberg University, titled “95 Theses” (to debate 95 theological issues). His hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible.
What started as an academic debate escalated into a distinct separation between the Roman Catholic church of the time and those who accepted Luther’s suggested reforms. "Lutheran" became the name of the group that agreed with Luther’s convictions.
Today, nearly five centuries later, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of Luther’s theological teachings, such as Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism:
We are saved by the grace of God alone -- not by anything we do;
Our salvation is through faith alone -- we only need to trust God made known in Christ who promises us forgiveness, life and salvation; and
The Bible is the norm for faith and life -- the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
Over the years, different Lutheran church bodies have been established and organized to meet the needs of Lutherans in communities and nations all over the world.
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: The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.
Lutherans are part of a reforming movement within the whole Christian church; as a part of practicing their faith, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessors have engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other church bodies for decades.
In fact, the ELCA has entered into cooperative "full communion" agreements (sharing common convictions about theology, mission and worship) with several other Protestant denominations, including:
The Moravian Church
The Episcopal Church
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Reformed Church in America
The United Church of Christ
The United Methodist Church
The ELCA has an ongoing dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, and in 1999, representatives of the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic Church signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification. This represented a historic consensus on key issues of faith and called for further dialogue and study together.
To learn more about these ecumenical relationships, visit Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations. To learn more about the ELCA go to