Our Foundation - The Holy Trinity (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
We have a Prodigal ("lavishly extravagant") God who has spared no expense to seek us when we were lost and gather us to Himself as a people redeemed by His love (Luke 15:11ff; 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a; Luke 19:10).
- God the Father, who intricately created us and all things, sent forth His only Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us back from our self-destructive path of sin.
- The Son — For our sake, Jesus lived the holy life that we were powerless to live and died a death that we deserved to die.
- The Holy Spirit — In order that we may receive these gifts of Jesus, the Holy Spirit was sent forth to work faith in all people and to empower His Church to bring the light of God's love to the world.
As Lutheran Christians, we stand firm on God's gifts of...
- Scripture Alone - God has revealed salvation in Jesus and His will for our lives in the truths of the Holy Bible. The Scriptures thus provide the only authority for Christian teaching (John 20:30-31; 2 Timothy 3:16).
- Grace Alone - We are loved by God, not for what we have done, but because of His undeserved compassion for us (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-24).
- Faith Alone - We receive the gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation through a simple trust in Jesus and His promises (Ephesians 2:8; John 14:6)
- The Means of Grace - God has chosen to work faith in our lives through the instruments of the preaching and teaching of His Word, as well as through the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
- Baptism - God works through water and His word to wash us of our sin and make us a part of His family. This is a gift both for us and our children (Acts 2:38-39; Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Peter 3:21).
- Lord's Supper - God delivers the assurance of forgiveness to us, as He feeds and nourishes us through the real presence of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).
Our Life in Christ
Jesus calls all Christians to follow Him, as we begin an ever-growing relationship with Him, His church, and His mission.
- Discipleship - Whether we are newly baptized or have been part of the church for decades, God is calling each of us to grow deeper and go wider in His Word and world (John 15:5-8; Matthew 13:8, 28:18-20).
- Mission - Growing disciples are intentional about making more disciples. Each of us has a unique role and responsibility in reaching out with the love of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:14-16; Philemon 1:6; John 20:21).
- Vocation & Calling
- Priesthood of All Believers - Each of us has been gifted to serve God and others within our family, our work, and our wider areas of influence. He has uniquely equipped us with both natural talents and special gifts of His grace for the building up of His Kingdom (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-31).
- Marriage & Family - God has uniquely blessed us with the gifts of both marriage and family. He has also given us His instruction on these roles (Matthew 19:3-6; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Deuteronomy 6:4-7). We uphold God's intended gifts to and through the special vocations of husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, parents and children, for the fact that it is through the family that God intends to pass on the faith to the next generation (Psalm 78:4-7). For God has created man and woman for one another - a relationship to be enjoyed in a lifelong commitment (Genesis 2:24).
- The Ten Commandments - God’s Law functions in three ways. Within the world, it acts as a “curb” to keep evil in check. Within the life of the Christian, the Law serves as a “mirror” showing us our sin and thereby leading us back to the forgiveness of our Savior. The Law also functions as a “guide,” teaching us God’s will, so that our words and works may praise God and serve our neighbor.
For more information about the official teachings of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), please visit the LCMS “Belief and Practice” webpage at www.lcms.org.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His own loving-kindness. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…” (Titus 3:4-6).
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament—a “holy” (sacra) “action” (mentum)—of the church. In Baptism, our merciful God is acting in a special way to create a new spiritual life in the person being baptized. Baptism is our entrance into fellowship with God and into the Christian community of believers.
Why do we baptize infants and young children?
Lutherans baptize infants and young children because (a) we believe it is the command of Christ Himself in the Great Commission to make disciples of “all” nations (Matthew 28:19), (b) we believe it is God’s gift “for us and for our children” (Acts 2:38-39), (c) because it was a known practice in the earliest days of the church (Acts 16:30-34), and (d) Jesus welcomes the little children, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16).
Since Baptism is a grace event, it is all God’s doing. It does not depend on our qualifications, any powers or goodness in us, or our mastery of religious teaching. God freely accepts all people through Christ, regardless of age or intellectual ability. Knowledge is important as a child matures, but God begins with a relationship. In the same way, a good human parent loves and embraces a child in relationship, and does not first require their baby to understand them, or even respond to them. Of course, we are thrilled whenever that happens and so is God. We, therefore, commit ourselves to raising our children to know and respond to God, and live under Him by faith.
What is the role of parents in a Baptism?
BEFORE Baptism – parents are to understand what we believe and teach concerning Baptism. They are encouraged to choose Christian sponsors who will pray for, care for, and provide a Christian example for their godchild.
AFTER Baptism – Baptism is both a gift and a responsibility. God grants the gift of new spiritual life and also entrusts to parents a responsibility to nurture the seed of faith that He has planted in their child by living out their faith at home and in the church.
What happens during the Baptism Service?
Ordinarily, Baptism takes place during one of our regularly scheduled worship services. In special cases, we can arrange for Baptism at times outside our worship schedule either in the home or at the church. The baptism service includes:
- Invocation & Scripture Readings
- A Promise by Parents and Sponsors
- A Confession of Faith using the Apostles’ Creed
- The Act of Baptism
- A Welcome & Prayer
What are Sponsors asked to do and promise?
Sponsors, or Godparents, are called to witness that a child was baptized and to support their ongoing growth in the Christian faith. Following the Baptism, Sponsors are asked to:
- Be an example of Christian faith in the life of their godchild.
- Remember their godchild frequently in prayer.
- Help their godchild remember his or her baptism. This can be done through religious gifts (bible, cross, storybook), special activities (dinner, dessert, etc.), cards/phone calls, or anything that helps the child “celebrate” their baptism birthday annually or at any time throughout the year.
How can I schedule a baptism?
Contact the church office 317-783-2000 to discuss questions you may have, possible dates that work both for your family and the church calendar, and other necessary contact and biographical information.
“For what I received from the Lord I also delivered to you…For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23, 26).
What is the Lord's Supper?
Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life. He says: “Come, for those who eat this bread and drink this cup will never hunger or thirst, but be raised up on the Last Day” (John 6). We believe Jesus when He says, “This is my body” and “This is my blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” We believe that we receive the true body and blood of Jesus when we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Supper. Faith takes hold of the promised forgiveness that God’s Word has put into the Lord’s Supper.
Who should receive the Lord’s Supper?
Those who receive the Lord’s Supper should be believers in Christ (Hebrews 11:6); be sorry for their sins (Proverbs 28:13); believe that Christ offers His true body and blood with the bread and wine (1 Corinthians 10:16); and be willing to forgive those who have sinned against them (Matthew 6:14-15).
When is the Lord’s Supper offered?
- Holy Communion is offered at all regular worship services unless otherwise noted. It is also offered at some special worship services, as indicated in our worship service announcements.
Gluten-free wafers are available for worshipers with a gluten allergy.
Non-alcoholic wine is offered in the center of each communion tray.
Please speak with one of the pastors before or after a service if you have more questions about the Lord’s Supper. You are also invited to find out more through our Foundations of Faith class.
WHAT IS THE “FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH” CLASS?
The purpose of “Foundations of Faith” class is to:
- Answer questions you may have about the Christian faith, Calvary, and its ministries
- Deepen your faith in Christ and His promises
- Discuss how faith in Jesus applies to your life in practical and helpful ways
- Strengthen your understanding of the Lutheran Church
- Meet other new members and Calvary volunteers, making new connections to our community
Upon completing the class, there is no obligation to become a member of Calvary, but those desiring to do so will be received into membership during a Sunday morning service along with a special new member breakfast preceding the worship service.