We believe that the church is the physical expression of the real presence of God in the world today. Jesus said, "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). The most frequent term used for the church in the New Testament is, "The Body of Christ." This is far more than a figurative term, we are called by God to "be Jesus" to the world. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther (1483-1546) said in his explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles Creed:
"...but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way [the Holy Spirit] calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church [the Holy Spirit] daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers."
The purpose of the church is not to be a social club or a nostalgic memorial to a time long passed. The church is called by God to be an active and dynamic presence in the world, acting on behalf of God. We do this by doing what God would do if God were physically present; loving whom God would love, serving the least and the lost in our community and world, standing in the gap between the weak and the innocent and those who would use them or do them harm, and calling all people into a real, relevant, and dynamic relationship with God. The example we follow is the example of Jesus who is the "image of the invisible God." (Colossians 1:15) This calls the church into a radical involvement in the life of the world and gives purpose and meaning to all that we do.
We gather, in community, to learn, be challenged, comforted, and afflicted. We are fed with Word and Sacrament which gives us strength for our daily walk of faith. Worship is not an end unto itself - it is the beginning of our week which, we pray, is filled with opportunities for witness and discipleship.