We are Ebenezer Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Missouri Synod. We believe in the importance of gathering around Christ’s Word, Baptism and His Supper. We welcome all sinners who are in need of forgiveness. We have a fine musical tradition and are blessed with wonderful talent benefitting from being so close to UNCG. We try to uphold our traditions and beliefs while reaching out with love and compassion to our community. We’d love to have you come join us. May the peace of Christ be with you.
The following are a series of questions that may help the visitor understand who we are. Please feel free to contact Pastor Joshua Haugen or Pastor John Fair for any follow up questions. (336)272-5321.
When you say “Lutheran” what does this mean?
A monk and professor by the name of Martin Luther nailed 95 theses (statements for debate) in 1517 to the church door. What he was attempting to do was reform the western church, which often goes by the name the Roman Catholic Church. Out of those reformation efforts church bodies were formed and historic documents written. We are direct descendents of those efforts. What we would say this means practically is that the Lutheran Church (since it was never trying to destroy Roman Catholicism but rather reform it) still has some of the trappings of the old Church such as candles, robes, processions and things of that nature. But everything that we have and that we have kept is very purposefully supposed to direct one to Christ, His merits and His glory. When you walk into our church the thing that will dominate your line of sight is a giant cross. All the artwork purposefully directs one to Christ. The baptismal font, the altar and the bible lectern direct us to Jesus. After attending worship, a Sunday or two, our focus is unmistakable.
What does it mean to say you are “Missouri Synod”?
There are different stripes of Lutherans. Our branch is headquartered in Missouri. Synod means walking together. What this means is we have a congregational consensus approach to leadership that operates inside the historic confessing (belief) boundaries of our church body. Also every pastor that is part of the Missouri Synod subscribes fully to the historic Lutheran documents contained in the Book of Concord. Of course no church is ever perfect but we do strive in our overall church body to have consensus and harmony in what we preach and teach.
What is your view of Scripture?
We uphold both the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God. We believe that the Word, the bible, needs to be interpreted in its context, and that the key to scripture is Jesus. We also believe that the bible should be interpreted inside the community of faith. One needs the mutual support of brothers and sisters in Christ otherwise it is easy for Scripture to be misinterpreted and misdirected.
What is your view of Baptism?
If one has been baptized inside a church that confesses God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we do not rebaptize. We believe that Baptism is Jesus writing his Name upon us and ultimately adopting us into the family of God. Since we have this belief we do not put regulations on the amount of water used, (total immersion or sprinkling), the age of baptism (infant or adult), but what is important to us is that baptism is done according to God’s command and includes his Word/promise. (Matthew 28:18-20)
What is your view of the Lord’s Supper?
We believe that Jesus in His Supper (Communion) is connecting us with Himself and His benefits from the cross. We believe He is truly present in the bread and wine, body and blood, ultimately connecting us to His forgiveness. Lutherans do not overly define this “real presence” but simply take Jesus at His Word that He spoke at the Last Supper: “Take it, this is my body.” And when He took the cup and gave it to His disciples, He said, “Take and drink the new covenant in my blood.”
When we say, “We welcome all sinners who are in need of forgiveness,” what does this mean?
God’s Word says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. What sin means is miss the target. We recognize that everyone who gathers for worship is struggling with missing that target in some way. This is why God’s service seeks to direct the sinner/broken unto himself. Every service establishes that we all have brokenness in our lives and then seeks to lead, guide and direct us to the comfort, healing, and forgiveness of Jesus. Lutherans tend to call this approach Law and Gospel.
When you say “fine musical tradition” what does this mean?
What it means is we use a hymnal. The hymnal we use is called the Lutheran Service Book. We believe the hymnal offers the best of our Lutheran tradition both past and present. We do incorporate, especially for our choir, music that is outside of this hymnal; but we would say is fitting inside the music of the historic church. The liturgy (the order of worship) that we use is directly lifted from scripture and we would say has everything: the word, the hymns, the Lord’s Supper, which directs the congregation to the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Recently we have been blessed with a new pipe organ and grand piano.
When you say choir and UNCG what does this mean?
Our Choir Director/Organist is Dr. William Carroll. He is the retired Associate Dean at the UNCG Music School. We have been blessed to have him with us for more than seven years. He has continued our tradition of having a fine church choir. He fostered our current vocal scholarships. We also have some talented musicians from the community that take part in special music offerings. All together we feel blessed to say that for a church our size we have one of the finest church choirs in the community. We also are blessed to have a hand bell choir led by Lilli Ambro. We are always looking for musicians who wish to use their talents and abilities to the glory of God in a worship setting.
When you say reaching out with love and compassion to the community what does this mean?
Concerning the community, as long as we have ideas and leadership to support it we encourage many and various ways of reaching out to those around us. We have a long tradition of supporting Urban Ministry (by both food and donations), taking part in Crop Walk, regularly supporting Pathways with casseroles, providing meals for Habitat for Humanity work projects, Hot Dish of Hope at 1st Presbyterian, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League’s outreach efforts, and (as part of our budget) we support a host of other charitable and mission efforts. We, through our parishioners, always do more than could ever be mentioned.
What if I have other questions?
We know fully that if you don’t have much history with Lutheranism that many of the words or books we reference are not going to be known. Part of this use of language is simply inescapable. A doctor can’t describe an illness without using some of his technical jargon and so too churches can’t describe what they believe without reference to the works and ideas that are so dear to us. We invite you to contact us through our contact page or call at (336) 272-5321 to continue any conversation. We rejoice in any opportunity. The Lord Bless and Keep you.