Gathered around the ministry of Word and Sacrament, Christ Church Lutheran is a gospel-centered community resource serving San Francisco’s Sunset District and surrounding areas, providing diverse opportunities for worship, learning, social action, self-development, fellowship, and recreation for all ages, especially children and youth. Christ Church provides a variety of worship experiences that are meaningful and relevant to those both familiar and unfamiliar with liturgical worship. We are a nurturing community that welcomes all. Events at Christ Church Lutheran are visible, well publicized, and responsive to the needs of the community.
To make this vision a reality, concrete steps must be taken. These steps, or goals, have been organized around 3 focus areas:
- Word and Sacrament: Equipping believers for baptismal life.
- Witness and Service: Leading and assisting members in the public affirmation of faith.
- Leadership and Organization: Identifying, supporting and nurturing leaders and volunteers in the congregation and creating a supportive organizational environment to accomplish our mission.
Worship at Christ Church, Lutheran
Worship provides a time for spiritual nourishment and Christ Church, Lutheran, offers meaningful worship experiences grounded in Scripture and Christian tradition, while remaining relevant to life experiences.
Music is an integral part of our service, through the presentation of musical offerings, singing of congregational hymns and liturgy, and accompaniment on piano or organ. We regularly have musical groups offer pieces in worship, including Clarinet groups, string and woodwind ensembles, and recorder performances. We welcome the sharing of musical gifts by our friends and members.
Children of all ages are invited to be in Sunday worship, both as part of the worshiping community and as leaders of worship. Children occasionally serve as acolytes, lectors, communion assistants, and crucifers. In addition, we have a special area in the sanctuary with books, puzzles, and other quiet toys for young children.
Lutheran Identity as Expressed in Liturgy
Liturgy (meaning “work of the people”) is what we do when we gather for worship. The chief liturgical celebration of Lutherans is the Holy Communion (also called the Eucharist), the weekly Sunday event. At this service, we gather to share in community the gift of the shared meal of the Eucharist, the meal of which Jesus Christ invited each of us to partake – all are welcome to share this meal. The service also includes our gathering into community, readings from the Bible and preaching that applies these readings to the life of the community, shared prayers, and hymns.
Our threefold Lutheran identity is evident in our liturgy:
We are catholic.
The terms “catholic” and “Roman Catholic” are not the same. The former refers to all people of every time and place who confess Jesus as Lord, gather around the Word and Sacraments, and see themselves as a continuity of the Apostolic Church and as part of the whole church on earth. The latter refers to that part of the Western Church shepherded by the Bishop of Rome. We speak of the former when we confess, “We believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”
The Holy Communion liturgy follows the form of the catholic church, a form which probably goes back to the apostles: Scripture reading and preaching, Prayers of intercession, Peace sharing, Offering, Thanksgiving prayer, Lord’s Prayer, Meal.
Our catholic identity is also evident in the creeds we confess and in the hymns and prayers we use. We are evangelical.
We are evangelical.
“Evangelical” is often seen as synonymous with a political point of view. That is not the case for our Lutheran faith – evangelical for us simply means we seek to share God’s love with others. Our liturgy begins the evangelical process, proclaiming the center of our faith: God is full of grace for all of us. We seek to share our experience with God’s grace, unconditional love, mercy, and forgiveness, with others, so that others might have the opportunity to experience God’s enveloping love. God gathers us in and sustains us in one inclusive family.
We are reforming.
We change the way we sing or speak or dramatize the TRADITION, the catholic form, if a new way will enable the liturgy to proclaim the Gospel more clearly. Recent examples: the use of contemporary language, the inclusion of laity in liturgical functions, the ordination of women to the ministry of word and sacrament, the spirit of joy and the cultural diversity evident in the Lutheran Book of Worship.
We belong to the ELCA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Learn more about the ELCA here.
Christ Church, Lutheran is a member of Reconciling in Christ, affirming our open welcome of LGBTQ+ people and our support for racial justice.