American Lutheran Church has been doing ministry in Livingston for over 100 years. We are a congregation of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA). We are served by Pastor Melissa Johansen.
MISSION & VISION
We seek to live and do ministry in accordance with the following purpose statement and guiding principles:
Gathered in joy, we are sent to embrace the world with God's love.
Receiving God’s grace, as followers of Jesus, we will:
Gather to be empowered by the Spirit for life’s journey.
Seek God’s will through prayer, scripture study and faith sharing.
Reach out and welcome all people with unconditional love.
Live with a generous spirit in our community and world.
Serve our hurting world with love and compassion.
As early as 1892 Norwegian Lutheran pastors began visiting Livingston to begin the work of their church. It was not, however, until February 21, 1905 that the congregation was organized. The name chosen during the first year was, “Our Savior’s Norwegian Lutheran Congregation”. In 1906 lots at F and Lewis streets were purchased and on October 16, 1907 the first service was held in the building erected there. In 1923 worship began to be conducted in English and in 1927 the name of the church was changed to American Lutheran Church.
In the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s as the congregation grew, an enlargement and remodel of the sanctuary took place. In the late ‘50s a proposal for an expansion of the youth and Sunday School facility was voted on. The property north of the church was purchased in 1958 and the building soon began. The Sunday School annex was dedicated June 10, 1962.
A merger of three Lutheran churches formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in 1988. They were The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.
American Lutheran Church, as a part of the ELCA, is a church that shares a 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.
There is a place for you among our nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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 congregation where people of faith celebrate, learn and connect with one another and others around the world through service and weekly worship. We are a church that belongs to Christ.
CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS IS GREATER THAN THE SINS OF ALL PEOPLE, HIS LIFE STRONGER THAN DEATH, HIS SALVATION MORE INVINCIBLE THAN HELL.
- Martin Luther in "The Freedom of a Christian" 1520
WHAT IS A LUTHERAN?
Martin Luther was a monk who stood up against the abuses of the medieval church 500 years ago and for that he was kicked out of the church, spurring the reformation. He firmly believed that salvation was God's business and that it came to us by grace through faith. Lutheran's are Christians who follow in the theology and tradition of Martin Luther. We are a diverse bunch who continue to wrestle with what it means to be a Christian today. We do not always agree but we are united in the firm belief that it is God who does the saving and that we are all in need of it--you can't participate in this world of ours without getting your hands dirty. That is what we Lutheran's call "gospel." The fact that God comes in to us through Jesus while we are still sinners and freely forgives all our sins. That frees us to get back out there and try again, and again, and again. That is the freedom of a Christian. That is what it means to be a Lutheran.
Being Lutheran is not just about pot-lucks and jello salad. Click here for an article from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton about what it means to be a Lutheran.