Deo Lutheran Church

Worship 101

What's expected of me?

What about my kids?

Sacraments

Education

What's a Lutheran?

Services

What's a Lutheran, anyway?

This is a good question. One that will take some time to answer. Unless I just give you the relevant Wikipedia links. Then it will go quick for me, not so quick for you. Forgive me if it takes some time to flesh out this section - I set out to create a website, not write a textbook!

Historic Lutheranism

Lutheranism began in the 16th century in Germany, with a famous fellow named Martin Luther, who is credited with starting the protestant reformation. Let it be clear Lutherans do not worship Luther, he is not to Lutheranism what Mohammed is to Islam, but Luther's interpretation of the Bible and his other teachings are (for the most part) highly regarded in our churches.

Our church has the name Lutheran, largely because this term was used as a slur against churches that had been excommunicated by Rome in the 16th century. In some parts of the world, churches honor Luther's adamant request not to use his name in identifying themselves - for example, in Germany, the church that resulted from Luther's actions refers to itself as the "Evangelische" church.

Modern Lutheranism

In North America, there are numerous communities of faith that identify themselves as Lutheran, however, many of these communities are not formally affiliated with one another. The family tree of Lutheranism in North America is very complex, largely due to the fact that immigrants from Europe and Scandinavia simultaneously brought their faith to different parts of the continent, and in many different languages.

Unlike Anglicanism and Catholicism, modern Lutheranism is not particularly hierarchical in structure on a global scale. The closest thing Lutherans have to the Vatican is an assembly called the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). Nationally organized church bodies can choose to be members of the LWF, which is presided over by a General Secretary. As of 2009, there were an estimated 70.2 million Lutherans worldwide, 66.7 million of whom were represented at the LWF.

Where does Deo fit into the picture?

Deo is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). The word "Evangelical" is derived from the Greek word meaning "good news". It is unfortunate that the word evangelical has become largely synonymous with a particular breed of politically conservative American fundamentalism. The ELCIC is the largest Lutheran denomination in Canada, and is generally considered to be the most liberal (whatever that means!).

Since 2001, the ELCIC has been in a special relationship with the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). This relationship, known as "full communion", allows for Anglican clergy to serve Lutheran congregations, and vice versa.