Photo blogs

A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.


Baptism

Jun 23, 2014

“Our baptism is a significant part of our faith journey as we come from the baptismal waters to live a new life as children of God. … Our baptism sets us out on a lifelong journey that is characterized by our relationship to God, our relationship to our faith community, our relationships with various parts of our neighborhood and community, and our relationship to the wider world.” (“The Baptismal Covenant and the ELCA Faith Practices,” ELCA)

Baptism

Infant baptism involves the parents, sponsors and congregation answering questions and making promises on behalf of the child. They promise to help the child know and believe these promises as they grow. Infants are often brought to be baptized within the first months of their life.

Baptism

Nicole Zhang, from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Ill., holds a candle after she is baptized. “Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 231)

Baptism

Nicole Zhang, from St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge, Ill., is baptized by the pastor in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a sign and testimony of God’s grace, awakening and creating faith. Pouring suggests cleansing from sin. We believe that it is not the water that does such great things, but the word of God connected with the water.

Baptism

Shelley Wickstrom, bishop of the ELCA’s Alaska Synod, sprinkles the congregation with water during the Thanksgiving for Baptism service at the Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Fla. “Pour out your Holy Spirit, the power of your living Word, that those who are washed in the waters of baptism may be given new life.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship p. 230)

Baptism

At the beginning of the baptism service, during the gathering song, the pastor may sprinkle the crowd with this brush and water from the font. "The location of the font within the church building should express the idea of entrance into the community of faith, and should allow ample space for people to gather around." (Lutheran Book of Worship: Ministers Desk Edition, p. 30)

Baptism

Baptism at any age involves being washed and clothed with God's love in Christ. Baptism may be by either sprinkling or immersion, which is to be fully submerged in a tub of water such as this young boy is. Immersion symbolizes our dying and rising with Christ.

ELCA fathers

Jun 16, 2014

In honor of Father’s Day, take a pictorial tour of what some of the male members of the ELCA and our partners are doing with their congregations, families and ministries.

ELCA fathers

The Troesters are an ELCA missionary family living in Africa. Deborah Troester (center), an ELCA pastor, and her husband, Joe, (left) are the East Africa regional representatives for the ELCA.

ELCA fathers

Brian Beckstrom, campus pastor at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, spends some time enjoying nature with his children.

ELCA fathers

Darryl Thompson Powell, an ELCA pastor, puts his trust in God while with his children at an amusement park.

ELCA fathers

Lutheran World Federation President Munib Younan pictured with his granddaughter on Palm Sunday. He is also the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

ELCA fathers

Jon Leiseth is the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission associate country coordinator for Southern Africa. Among his duties is running the regular retreats for the young adults serving in the Southern Africa region. Jon, spending some time here with his children in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, also teaches English.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Jun 09, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014, was the the Day of Pentecost, coming 50 days after Easter. ELCA congregations across the country celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa, celebrated the Day of Pentecost last year with new paraments. The design woven into the cloth suggests movement; red is symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Keeping the spirit of Acts 2:1-21, the choir at Faith Lutheran Church, Marysville, Wash., donned “flames of fire” headbands signifying the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

At last year’s Create in Me Retreat, Living Lutheran blogger Kristin Berkey-Abbott focused on the Holy Spirit — more specifically, on the fire aspect of the Spirit as inspiration for preparation for Pentecost.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Jim Lindus, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Freeland, Wash., celebrates the spirit of the day with red paraments (altar cloths) and vestments (what the pastor wears).

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

Red is the color of the day liturgically. Los Altos Lutheran Church, Los Altos, Calif., uses a swath of red cloth draped over the cross to designate the descending of the Holy Spirit.

Day of Pentecost in the ELCA

The bell choir rings in the Day of Pentecost at Salem Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, Minn.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Jun 02, 2014

Congratulations, grads! It is graduation season for the 26 ELCA colleges and universities and eight seminaries. Here is but a sampling of what is going on in our various institutions of higher education.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Four hundred degree candidates crossed the stage at Wittenberg College’s 169th commencement exercises on May 17 in the university’s “Commencement Hollow.”

ELCA graduations, 2014

The 145th commencement of Luther Seminary was on May 18 at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis.

ELCA graduations, 2014

The 179th commencement at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa., was on May 18. The college is noted for its strong academic reputation. Since its founding in 1832, the college has upheld a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts in all their breadth.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago held its commencement on May 18. The ELCA has a long history of educating and preparing pastors and other rostered leaders to participate in God’s work in the world.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Students complete their academic journey at California Lutheran University’s commencement ceremony May 17 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

ELCA graduations, 2014

Wartburg Theological Seminary honored 46 degree and certificate candidates at commencement exercises on May 18 at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Dubuque, Iowa.

Memorial Day 2014

May 26, 2014

On this Memorial Day we remember the members of the armed services, both past and present. We give thanks for all who have lost their lives and pray for the safety of those who are now on active duty.

Memorial Day 2014

Harold Jacobson, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarion, Pa., delivers the invocation at the town’s Memorial Day service.

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day outreach Sunday school family makes cards for military personnel at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Gaithersburg, Md.

Memorial Day 2014

In front of Jacobs Lutheran Church in Pine Grove, Pa., is a stone memorial to the early settlers who were members of this Revolutionary War-era congregation and who are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church. In front of the stone are bronze emblem flag holders representing all the wars in which Americans have fought.

Memorial Day 2014

Young members of Christ Lutheran Church, Floral Park, N.Y., hold signs at the community’s Memorial Day parade.

Memorial Day 2014

May God protect those who served, who serve and who will serve. May God give us the courage and wisdom to work for peace so that no more lives need be sacrificed. May we reach out with compassion to all returning veterans that they may feel welcomed, loved and appreciated. (Photo/Krista Mendoza, pastor Bethany Lutheran, Elmira, N.Y., Woodlawn National Cemetery, Elmira.)

Memorial Day 2014

World War II veteran Stanley Lesniak, who is now a resident of Wittenberg Village: A Lutheran Life Community, Crown Point, Ind., took part in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The mission of an Honor Flight is to thank and pay tribute to veterans, especially from World War II, with a day of honor and remembrance at no cost to them.

We are the ELCA

May 19, 2014

The members of the ELCA make up a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. With nearly 10,000 congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and nearly 4.2 million members, we are a diverse community working together as the body of Christ.

We are the ELCA

Luther Place is on Thomas Circle in the heart of Washington, D.C. The congregation is “called to a mission of hospitality.”

We are the ELCA

Members of Central Lutheran Church, Capitol Hill, Seattle, celebrate the Seahawks.

We are the ELCA

Patt Kauffman, pastor of St. Peter’s, Port Jervis, N.Y., welcomes all people to this Reconciling in Christ ELCA Lutheran congregation.

We are the ELCA

The Northeastern Iowa Synod, in partnership with the Naz Builders of Nazareth Lutheran, Cedar Falls, has undertaken a synod-wide service project to rehab family student housing at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque. Congregations and individuals are invited to join a work team.

We are the ELCA

PJ Jayne Thompson, campus pastor, and crew during “Chapel Rap” at Thiel College, Greenville, Pa.

We are the ELCA

Having fun at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, Hillside, Colo.