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Lutheran FAQs

What is a Lutheran?

Lutheranism was founded by Martin Luther (1483-1546), a 16th-century German monk (later pastor and teacher) who wanted to reform the theology and practice of the Church. His efforts were among the first to launch the Protestant Reformation, and the dissemination of his writings divided Western Christianity. Even though Luther did not intend to start a whole new denomination, his followers became known as Lutherans. During the Reformation, Lutheranism became the state religion of numerous countries in Northern Europe and was spread throughout the world by Lutheran missionaries.


Thanksgiving Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States, and cooperates with international Lutheran and ecumenical bodies including the Lutheran World Federation, the World Council of Churches, and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. The ELCA has a “full communion” relationship with several other Christian denominations, including the PC(USA), the denomination of our sibling church (with whom we share worship, ministry, and space), Knox Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa.


What do ELCA Lutherans believe?

TLC, along with other ELCA congregations, confesses the Triune God and proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The ELCA identifies the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments), the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds and the Lutheran confessional writings as the basis for teaching. For more information about the beliefs of ELCA Christians, see


Who is welcomed and affirmed at Thanksgiving?

You are! See our joint welcoming statement with Knox on the homepage.


Where do you stand on married clergy, women clergy, LGTBQIA+ clergy?

A resounding Yes to all the above!


What’s your stand on the scientific method and evolutionary theory?



To learn more …

About ELCA mission and vision, history, leadership, social statements, and the ongoing work of the ELCA, check out the national website.


Do you have LGBTQIA+ congregation members who participate
in your ministry, worship, and the life of the church?



Do you have straight congregation members?



Do you have old … young … middle-aged members?



Do you support marriage equity?



Do you support racial justice and social justice projects?

Yes! Globally and locally, those include Lutheran World Relief, The Rwanda School Project
F.I.S.H. (Friends in Service Here)Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), and Positive Images / LGBTQ+ Support.


Do you have a Lutheran Daily Bible Reading?

Yes! Click Here for today's reading.

If you have additional questions
or would a call from our pastor, email Pastor Janet.

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