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 provides a time for spiritual nourishment and CCL offers varied and meaningful worship experiences grounded in Scripture and Christian tradition, while remaining relevant to life experiences.
Music is an integral part of our service with opportunities provided for those who wish to share their musical gifts. Children of all ages are invited to be part of Sunday worship. Younger children are invited to participate in the Childrenís Sermon, with a topic-related activity.
Liturgy (meaning “work of the people”) is what we do when we gather for worship. The chief liturgy of Lutherans is the Holy Communion (also called the Eucharist), the weekly Lordís Day event when we hear the reading and proclamation of Scripture and act out the Gospel in the ritual drama of a meal. We believe that God acts in our words and in our ritual drama making the Gospel happen. 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.
The liturgy proclaims the center of our faithóGod is gracious. Coming with unconditional love, mercy, and forgiveness, he gathers us to himself and sustains us in his inclusive family. This is good news!
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.