The Lutheran Church is one of the major Christian churches. It is the largest Protestant church in the world numbering more than sixty million people. The greatest numbers of Lutherans are in northern Europe and the USA. In Australia and New Zealand almost 255,000 people call themselves Lutherans. The Lutheran Church dates back to the Reformation of the 16th century, when Martin Luther rediscovered the central teaching of the Bible, namely: Jesus has done everything necessary to reconnect people with God, and so live lives of fulfilment, meaning, peace and hope. The name ‘Lutheran’ was given to people who believed that Martin Luther was right in his interpretation of the Bible. The Lutheran Church has been in Australia and New Zealand for over 150 years. In the 1830’s small groups of Lutherans emigrated in search of religious freedom. They settled mainly in rural areas in various parts of the country. Today the Lutheran Church is made up of people from rural and urban areas and many different cultural backgrounds.
The Church in Action
Bible-based preaching and the sacrament of holy communion are central in Lutheran church services. Lutherans use both traditional and modern worship styles.
The church provides Christian education for all age groups. The Lutheran school system has kindergartens, pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools throughout Australia, with over 20,000 students. Congregations provide Sunday schools, confirmation courses, adult Bible study groups, and inquirers’ classes. Luther Campus, Adelaide, offers theological education to clergy, teachers, parish workers, and laypersons.
Caring and Sharing
The church’s expanding program of care for the needs of the community includes childcare centres, family shelters and support agencies, welfare centres, singles ministry, youth ministry, retirement villages, infirmaries, and world relief.
The church reaches out to the community through the ministry of its congregations and schools, radio and television programs, and the distribution of Christian literature by Openbook Publishers. Lutheran missionaries have served among Australian aborigines and in Papua New Guinea for over 100 years. The Lutheran church also supports the work of churches in SE Asia.
- Lutherans believe in one true God. Lutherans share the belief of all other Christians that the one true God has made himself known as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Lutherans believe that God loves all people. Lutherans believe that God loves every human being.
- Lutherans believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is God’s son who became a human being, lived a life in total keeping with God’s design, suffered and died on the cross for people’s wrongs and rose again to new life, thereby guaranteeing humanity new life with God.
- Lutherans believe God’s forgiveness is a free gift. Because of Jesus, God has forgiven us. God offers his forgiveness to us all.
- Lutherans believe the Bible. The Bible is the word of God.
- Lutherans believe that the good news about Jesus is the key to the Bible.
To find out more about the Lutheran Church in Australia, visit their website at lca.org.au.
LUTHERAN LAYPEOPLE’S LEAGUE (LLL)
Investing in a Higher Calling
Established in 1921, the prime purpose of the LLL (Lutheran Laypeople’s League of Australia Incorporated) is to assist the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) in its mission and ministry of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The LLL serves the LCA in numerous ways but especially in aspects of business and finance. It operates savings accounts for LCA members and supporters who wish to assist LCA organisations.
Funds deposited enable the LLL to provide financial assistance to the LCA, particularly by way of low interest loans to LCA projects for building and equipping churches, schools, and care facilities.
For more information about the LLL please visit their website at lll.org.au.