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Our Beliefs

“We preach Christ crucified…” (1 Corinthians 1:23)

Faith Lutheran is member of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

What we believe, teach, and proclaim (i.e. confess) can be succinctly summarized in the words of the Apostles Creed, and elaborated in the Nicaean and Athanasian Creeds:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God
the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

In the early 1500s, further clarification was necessary concerning the role that faith, grace, and the scriptures play in the lives of Christians. Martin Luther emphasized the following:

Faith Alone – Sola Fide: The confession that mankind is justified (declared right) before God by faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, apart from any merit or work of our own (Romans 3:28).

Grace Alone – Sola Gratia: The confession that this work of Christ, and all the merits and blessings associated with it, are imparted entirely by the grace of God and the unconditional love He has for creation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Scripture Alone – Sola Scriptura: The confession that the Holy Bible is the sole rule and norm for the Christian faith and is the exclusive means for communicating God’s grace shown through Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:16).

We believe the Holy Scriptures (sixty-six books of the Bible) to be a true revelation of God’s work of creation, redemption and sanctification. As such, the scriptures speak truthfully about God—His character and His action; and they speak truthfully about us—our character and our actions. We see a God who remains actively involved in the care and restoration of His creation. We see a God who is merciful and just. We hear His voice speaking to us giving us direction, rebuke, and restoration (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

Law/Gospel: The Law reveals what is right for God’s creatures. One cannot hear the law without becoming aware or ‘conscious’ of our own sin (Romans 3:20). The law reveals that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The Gospel (meaning “good news”) shows us what God has done to make us right. The Gospel can be heard in the promises of God in the Old Testament, and it can be heard in the account of Jesus the Christ for the forgiveness of sins—yours included!

We believe that God delivers the forgiveness of sin through the means of water, wine, and bread along with the command and promise of Jesus. These are God’s special and sacred actions for us and for our salvation. We call these Sacraments:

Holy Baptism: Water along with the command and promise of Christ is a washing and rebirth (Titus 3:5), a uniting to Christ and a means by which we are given a new identity as sons and daughters of God. Baptism brings us into the body of Christ, the Church.

Holy Communion: Bread and wine along with the promise and command of Christ is a partaking of the living body and blood of Jesus that forgives our sin and strengthens our faith. In Holy Communion, we commune with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters in the faith, both those seen and unseen at the altar. We believe that Christ is present in this sacred meal, as His word clearly proclaims, “Take and eat; this is My body…Take and drink; this is my blood…”

If you would like to know more, please speak with a pastor, read Luther’s Small Catechism, or explore the website for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Our Practices

Worship

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42)

Worship at Faith Lutheran Church is liturgical in character. God speaks to us by means of His word and we respond with the words He has given to us. This has been the tradition of the historic Christian church in the rite of the Divine Service (that is, God’s service to us). Our order follows in the footsteps of the early church and includes such practices as Confession and Absolution, the Service of the Word (Readings), Homiletical Teaching (Sermons), Prayer, Psalmody and Hymnody, and Reception of the Sacraments (Baptism and Lord’s Supper).

For more information about worship in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod we invite you to visit our synodical website or contact our Cantor.

Baptism

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is a second birth in Christ Jesus and a washing away of sin. We believe that through Baptism, the Holy Spirit imparts the gift of faith and begins the work of conforming our spirit to the image of Christ. This work will reach its completion on the day of the resurrection of the dead, where we will be like Christ in body and spirit. Thus this Baptism into Christ imparts a new identity as a redeemed sinner, baptized in His name (Christian).

This Baptism, we confess, is given freely by Christ and so is offered freely by His church to all who are in need of His grace and mercy. To learn more about Baptism or to request Baptism for yourself or your children, please contact our pastors.

Infants and adults are included in “all nations.” All have sinned and thus all have an opportunity to receive baptism and teaching. Infants are baptized because baptism is for sinners and they are taught what it means to live as God’s people in the community of the church and in the local congregation. Adults are most frequently taught what baptism is prior to their actual baptism. Baptism takes place once, but learning from the Lord what it means to be baptized is a lifelong endeavor!

The Lord’s Supper

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:16, 17)

Instituted on the night of Jesus betrayal, He said, “take eat, this is my body—this is my blood for the forgiveness of sins.” We take Jesus at His word. Bread and wine are at the same time His body and blood, able to forgive sin—because He says so. An act of communing at our altar is an act of confession; namely that you believe that you are coming before the living Jesus who make Himself present in this meal for the purpose of forgiving your sin. If this is not your confession, we invite you come to the altar and receive a blessing until such time as you have spoken with one of our pastors.

The Lord’s Supper is offered at Faith at the 8:00 am service on the first, third, and fifth Sunday of every month, and at the 10:30 am and 5:00 pm services on the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of every month. It is also celebrated at all services on the major festivals of the church year.

Marriage

Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and hold fast to His wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Marriage is a gift of God for the “mutual companionship, help and support that each person ought to receive from the other in both prosperity and adversity. Marriage was also ordained so that man and woman may find delight in one another…God also established marriage for the procreation of children who are to be brought up in the fear and instruction of the Lord…” (Lutheran Service Book,p. 275)

Marriage is not to entered into inadvisably or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God. As such, the pastors of Faith will conduct services for members of Faith after they have gone through a period of premarital counseling. Weddings and receptions held at Faith are at the discretion of pastors and elders of the congregation.

The Service of Holy Matrimony is intended for the blessing of the members of Faith Lutheran Church and member congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. If you desire more information about this policy, or wish to consider membership at Faith Lutheran Church, please contact one of our pastors, who will be happy to meet with you.

Our History

Faith Lutheran Church was formed as the daughter congregation of University Lutheran (“ULu”) Church in 1963. Eleven acres of land located on South High Street were purchased and new facilities were constructed to accommodate what had become a congregation mostly of young families. University Lutheran remained a place of worship near campus primarily for Indiana University students, professors, and some town people. Rev. Kenneth Streufert was the first pastor called to Faith.

As the Faith congregation grew, a need arose for a preschool operation. Under the direction of Mrs. Joan Bertermann, the Faith Lutheran Preschool and Childcare became an important part of our community ministry. Mrs. Rachel Stults took over as director when Mrs. Bertermann retired eighteen years later.

In 2008, a group of Faith members formed a daughter church in Ellettsville—Trinity Lutheran—led by Rev. Patrick Kuhlman.

In the years that followed, Faith’s facilities have been expanded and the congregation has grown. An active Chinese ministry evolved that allows for weekly worship services and Sunday School in the Chinese language, led by Rev. Liwei Sui.

Our Former Pastors:

Rev. Patrick J. Kuhlman (2000-2012)

Rev. Lawrence W. Mitchell (1987-2013)

Rev. Cecil H. Skibbe (1970-1987)

Rev. Kenneth A. Streufert (1963-1969)