What we believe


We believe that it is God’s gracious gift that makes us God’s Children-not our beliefs, not our actions, not our good works.

Among the things we believe:

Grace – God’s love is given to us freely and unconditionally. Therefore, the good things we do are in response to that love and not to earn it. There is nothing that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39, The Bible).

Sacraments – Baptism and Holy Communion are two particularly special ways in which God’s love and presence are shared. Lutherans call these two rites sacraments. They are rituals instituted in the Christian Bible by Jesus, and they combine both a physical element (bread, wine, and water), and the promise of Christ’s presence and forgiving love for us.

God’s Presence – God is present among and within all of God’s creation, and not limited to God’s special presence in the Sacraments. Creation is meant to be respected and cared for. In caring for creation, we honor God and God’s artistry.

The Bible – Lutherans (especially those at First Trinity) agree that the Bible is a tool that can be used to both help and harm God’s creation and God’s people. The Bible is used properly and as sacred Scripture when it used for the purposes of the Gospel. The Gospel is the message of forgiveness, liberation, new life, and transformation, found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and his teachings.

Other Christian Denominations – Scripture teaches that God’s love and grace is not limited to boundaries or divisions created by human beings. Therefore, Lutherans accept other Christians as sisters and brothers in the Christian faith-Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and so on. Again, it is God’s grace that makes us God’s Children, and not our denomination.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), our Lutheran denomination, is in “full communion” with the Episcopal, Moravian, Presbyterian Church, USA, Reformed Church in America, United Church in Christ, and the Untied Methodist Church. More on “Full Communion”

ELCA Social Statements – The ELCA has several social statements and messages. As a congregation of the Metro-Chicago Synod of the ELCA, First Trinity supports the ELCA’s stances while encouraging our people to think on their own, deeply and prayerfully, and to disagree if necessary. We understand that the church is always in need of God’s grace and continual renewal and reformation.