Are you New to OSLC & have questions? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:
(Should you have more, please contact us or come visit & see for yourself!)
What if I’ve never been to church, or haven’t been in a really long time?
Come on in & give us a try! More importantly, connect with the One who gave himself for YOU.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one & only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. – John 3:16-17
What if I’m not Lutheran? – That’s fine. Come & learn what we are about. Christ welcomes all into his loving arms.
What is “Lutheran” anyway? – A protestant, Christian church
The Lutheran Church was named after its founder Martin Luther, though he himself preferred that they should just be called Christians. In the 16th century, Luther challenged some of the teachings & practices of the church of his time, calling the church back to its roots in Scripture. The change that followed became known as the Reformation of the Church in Europe. He also translated the Bible from Latin into German, the language of the common people in his country. The Lutheran Church today continues to keep its focus on Scripture.
What do Lutherans believe? – Grace alone, Faith alone & Scripture alone
God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him & do not deserve His love. He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable & save the ungodly. By His suffering & death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased & won forgiveness & eternal life for them. Those who hear this Good News & believe it have the eternal life that it offers. God creates faith in Christ & gives people forgiveness through Him. The Bible is God’s true & perfect Word, in which He reveals His Law & His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is the sole basis for our Christian doctrine.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—& this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
What do Lutherans believe about Baptism?
“Therefore go & make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit.” – Matthew 28:19
Another of our core values is Baptism. Only God could think of something so simple. He uses ordinary water, together with his Word, & gives us a blessing that is quite revolutionary. We take water & at the command of Jesus, pour it on someone’s head saying, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, & of the Son, & of the Holy Spirit.” The Word of God calls this a washing of new birth that brings with it the Holy Spirit. God puts his name on the person & says, “You belong to me. I am your God.” It is the way we enter the Kingdom of God. It is a means by which God gives us His grace. That’s why we baptize anyone who has not been baptized before, whether it is infant only hours old, or an elderly person.
Because the focus of Baptism is on what God does for us, & not on what we do in response to him, it is also a great source of comfort and strength when we run into difficult times. When things are hard & confusing, I can begin to doubt my love for God & my commitment to Him, but He has given me a physical sign that reminds me that His love for me does not waver. I may doubt many things, but I cannot doubt I am baptized, & because I am baptized God has put His name on me & said that I belong to Him.
We believe in ONE baptism for the forgiveness of sin. The Lutheran tradition, like that of the vast majority of Christians for 2000 years, baptizes infants, believing that God is at work even before we are aware of it. Later in life, around the age of 14, these children of God are asked to make their own commitment to a life of faith by “affirming their baptism” after two years of instruction in the Christian faith.
What do I have to do to get my baby Baptized?
Prior to arranging a baptism, we ask parents to meet with a pastor. You will learn how you can nurture your child into living a life of faith & service to the Lord, as well as discuss how Baptism works within our regular worship services. After the session, we will work with you to schedule the time for the celebration.
What if I’m an adult & have never been Baptized? – That’s okay.
No one is too old to be baptized. Please contact the church office so we can arrange a meeting with a pastor to help you begin this joyful journey of faith.
Do I have to be Lutheran to receive Communion?
“… the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; And when He had given thanks, He broke it, & said, ‘Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me’. In the same manner He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do, as often as you drink of it, in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread, & drink this cup, you do show the Lord’s death till he come’.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
At OSLC we celebrate Holy Communion in the glad confidence that our Lord gives us not only bread & wine, but His very body & blood to eat & to drink for the forgiveness of sins, & to strengthen our union with Him & with one another. Our Lord invites to His table those who have faith in His words & repent of all sin.
Because those who eat & drink our Lord’s body & blood unworthily do so to their great harm …
“So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body & blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread & drink from the cup.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27-28
… any who are not yet formally instructed, or are in doubt about our confession of faith, are asked first to speak with a pastor or an elder before receiving communion.
Those not receiving the sacrament, including small children, are encouraged to cross their arms over their chest, & receive a special blessing from the Pastor. If it is physically difficult for you to come to the Altar for communion, you can speak with a pastor or elder prior to the service to arrange for the Sacrament to be brought to you!
Who is Jesus Christ?
God’s love is greater than we can imagine. God gave us his only Son, Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a human being. He was born around 2000 years ago to a young woman named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem, which was in part of the Roman Empire. God humbled himself & became a human being like us, with flesh & blood, pain & suffering, joy & sorrows, anger & peacefulness. Jesus lived on the earth for about 30 years, but never travelled more than a couple of hundred kilometres from where he was born. He taught the people & healed their sick. He set people free from their addictions & other bondages. As foretold in the Bible, Jesus was executed by being nailed to a cross to die. We value the gift of Jesus because when He died, God placed on him all the things that we have done that disappoints ourselves & God, that which causes us to separate ourselves from God & his love. Every bad thought, every unkind word, every thoughtless act, even the deliberate wanton acts of every human being that has ever lived, were placed on Jesus Christ. Three days later, He rose from the grave & ascended into heaven. It is because of Jesus’ death & resurrection that we are saved from our sins & graced with eternal life.
How do I receive forgiveness?
Jesus Christ has paid the price for all of our wrongdoing. We no longer have to suffer for the things we have done wrong because Jesus suffered & died for us. We are forgiven & set free from guilt and shame. We greatly value the forgiveness God gives us through his Son Jesus. Because we are forgiven & no longer have to pay for the things we have done wrong, we know that when we die we will be brought back to life with God. Death brings an end to suffering & ushers us into the fullness of life with God. We value the conviction that after we die, we will be raised to a new life with God. We receive God’s forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is a gift; we don’t have to earn it. As the Spirit of God begins work in our lives, He makes us conscious of our sin & failure. What we call “conscience” is a God-given gift to lead us to confess our sin to God & ask his forgiveness.
What is “faith” & how do you get it?
We receive the gift of forgiveness by faith. Faith is not just a vague feeling that God exists, the sort of thing people might mean when they say they believe in God. Faith is the conviction that because Jesus died for us, we are forgiven. There is nothing we can do to add to that or make it more certain. Faith is simply trust in God. Faith is also God’s gift – it is not something we dream up for ourselves or something we decide to do after considering the evidence.
So how do you get “faith”? As you read the Bible or hear someone talk about the Bible’s message, the Holy Spirit works the miracle of faith in your life. Many people simply come to the realization that God has done that by making the joyous discovery that they believe, “I trust God that I am his child because of the death of Jesus for me.” Because it is God’s gift, we don’t have to measure it & say “I have strong faith” or “I have weak faith.” God has given us faith & that is enough. Because it is His gift and not our own creation, our faith is not threatened by our doubts & difficulties. It is God’s work through His Word in our lives. We value the security that this gives us in our relationship with God.
How many voices, hands & feet are part of the OSLC community?
OSLC has a membership of 140 baptized members & 80 families. An average of 80 people attends services on a given weekend. We welcome & invite you to grow in Christ with us through worship & fellowship at OSLC. Please ask anyone to show you around; you will be welcomed into our community!