WHY ARE WE A MEMBER OF THE ELCA? AND WHY SHOULD THAT MATTER TO SOMEONE ATTENDING OUR CHURCH?
San Marcos Lutheran Church is proudly a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
We belong the to Pacifica Synod, one of the 65 synods in the ELCA. It includes San Diego, Orange, Riverside, & Imperial counties in California along with all of Hawaii.
But why should that matter? There are several Lutheran Church bodies — Aren’t all Lutheran Churches alike?
No, they are not. We stand out as the largest Lutheran Church Body in the USA at 4.9 million members and that gives us more connections in more places than other Lutheran denominations. But that alone does not tell the whole story.
A quick peek at our web site shows we have both a male and a female Pastor — we are the only Lutheran Body that ordains women. In fact our Presiding Bishop is the Rev. Eaton, a woman also. This equality towards women plays itself out from top to bottom in our Church body where girls are included in helping with worship, women are elected to the Church Council and it is not a special thing.
The ELCA has committed itself to racial inclusion and the inclusion of people with a disability. San Marcos Lutheran is a shining example of how people from different backgrounds, ages, races , education levels, ability/disability, gender and sexual orientation can work together as a group. We acknowledge that we are on a journey — a journey to see all people as God sees them — loving children of a loving God without regard to human distinctions. We speak openly about prejudice and more importantly how our faith can help us — as faithful Christian — overcome those barriers so we can be the people of God.
The ELCA is also open and inclusive to all people regardless of their sexual orientation. San Marcos Lutheran is just one of many ELCA congregations in our area that openly welcome LGBT people. That equal treatment means all aspects of Church membership are open to them.
Our connection to the ELCA means that we can effectively work around the globe through the Lutheran Disaster Relief network and the Lutheran World Relief. Money given to help people in need is able to quickly provide emergency aid and long term assistance.
Our commitment to the ELCA is strong — come bring your gifts and your experiences to make our congregation and the ELCA stronger & more faithful.