As a Synod, we are not always clear about our unique identity as Lutheran Christians. Those outside our fellowship seem even less clear about our identity. In Northern California and Nevada, we live in a multi-cultural, diverse, and secular region of the country. Outreach and Evangelism, especially in the development of Mission Churches, is a challenge since many in our area are unchurched, while the lines differentiating Christian denominations are often perceived as soft. Nationally and regionally, we are recognized by our work with Lutheran World Relief, by our seminaries, Hunger Appeals, and participation in Ecumenical or Interfaith organizations. As individuals, many members see themselves as part of a long tradition as the church of the Reformation, with a strong sense of identity and spirit of pioneering. However, there is a perception that those “outside” are not clear about who Lutherans are, the good work we do, or what we believe.
How would you articulate our distinct identity as Lutherans in a contemporary, secular and diverse society?
What do our Lutheran theology and a Reformation mentality mean in 2008?
How does our Lutheran faith speak to young families? To singles? To an aging population?
How do we keep “passion for the faith” alive?
How do we address societal and ethical issues from a faith perspective?