Our Beliefs

Our beliefs can be summarized by the Unaltered Augsburg Confession of 1530 Articles IV-X:

Also they teach that men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works, but are freely justified for Christ's sake, through faith, when they believe that they are received into favor, and that their sins are forgiven for Christ's sake, who, by His death, has made satisfaction for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness in His sight. Rom. 3 and 4.

That we may obtain this faith, the Ministry of Teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted. For through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments, the Holy Ghost is given, who works faith; where and when it pleases God, in them that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our own merits, but for Christ's sake, justifies those who believe that they are received into Grace for Christ's sake.

Also they teach that this faith is bound to bring forth good fruits, and that it is necessary to do good works commanded by God, because of God's will, but that we should not rely on those works to merit justification before God. For remission of sins and justification is apprehended by faith, as also the voice of Christ attests: When ye shall have done all these things, say: We are unprofitable servants. Luke 17, 10. The same is also taught by the Fathers. For Ambrose says: It is ordained of God that he who believes in Christ is saved, freely receiving remission of sins, without works, by faith alone.

Also they teach that one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered.

Although the Church properly is the congregation of saints and true believers, nevertheless, since in this life many hypocrites and evil persons are mingled therewith, it is lawful to use Sacraments administered by evil men, according to the saying of Christ: The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat, etc. Matt. 23, 2. Both the Sacraments and Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ, notwithstanding they be administered by evil men.

Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace.

Of the Supper of the Lord they teach that the Body and Blood of Christ are truly present, and are distributed to those who eat the Supper of the Lord; and they reject those that teach otherwise.

Our beliefs are simply stated in Luther's Small Catechism, which is put together in a simple question and answer format.  Other doctrinal and historical documents regarding our beliefs can be found here.  

Our faith is also outlined in these accepted Creeds:

Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

 

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth
and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God,
begotten of His Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again
according to the Scriptures
and ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
And He will come again with glory to judge
both the living and the dead,
whose kingdom will have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshiped and glorified,
who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins,
and I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Athanasian Creed

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal.
As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.
So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord,
So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.

The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;
But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal:
so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.
He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds;
and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood;
Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ:
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation;
descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;
He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty;
from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

 

 

 

 
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  • On The State Mask Order

    Dear Friends in Christ,

     

    This has been yet another week of changes in our state due to COVID-19. I’m sure you’re all aware that masks have been mandated throughout the state by Governor Ivey. This response is in no way meant to start a “mask debate.” It’s intended to inform you of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We’re also in full compliance with the mandate.

     

    First, our goal has been to get people back in the doors as quickly as possible. If wearing a mask expedites that goal being met, so be it; however, churches have been labeled as exempt from the mandate. I would still like to encourage their use during times of entrance and exit from the building as these are the times that we will be in closest proximity to each other. Once you’re in your seat and safely distanced, feel free to remove your mask.

     

    Second, you will notice that Pastor Clark and I will not be wearing masks. It is necessary that we are able to clearly communicate during the service. This is not possible while having our face covered. We also have taken great care as to not come into contact with multitudes of people outside of Sunday. We do regular temperature checks as well. This being said, we will put on a mask during the distribution of the Sacrament of the Altar during these days of the mask mandate.

     

    Third, there are those of you who have medical conditions that hinder you from wearing a mask. I’m not going to ask if you have such a condition. If you aren’t wearing a mask as you come and go, I’ll assume you fit into this category and proceed without question. I’d encourage others to do the same.

     

    Finally, pray. The devil is hard at work seeking to deceive and divide. May it not be so among us! I’m sure we all have differing opinions on if a mask works or if it doesn’t and if the government has the right to do what they’ve done. None of those debates are going to strengthen us as a body. Only the Word and Sacrament can accomplish that. Let us hear that Word and join in the Feast joyfully together as our Lord guides us along the way.

     

    Your Servant in Christ,


     

    +Pastor Bussman

  • Services Resume as of May 17th

    Services inside St. Paul's resumed on Sunday, May 17th and will continue with only 8 and 10:30 services being held. While we are excited to join together again, we realize the virus is still a concern. If you fall into the categories given of those who are especially compromised, we encourage you to take extra precaution if you plan to join service in person. If you are remaining in quarantine, please continue to join us online and we will see you as soon as you are ready. 

     

    Precautions are in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. Everything will be printed in the bulletin, the offering plates will be stationary by the entry points, individual cups are available for communion and we ask that you observe the six feet of separation as recommenced. 

  • Services Update May 2020

    Until further notice, worship services will be online only. Our YouTube Channel is linked here on the website.  Make sure you click the SUBSCRIBE button on St. Paul's YouTube channel so you don't miss anything. Sunday services will begin at 8 AM. Bulletins and online giving is available under the "Resources" tab. Private confession and distribution of the Sacrament take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM - 11 AM or by appointment. We continue to monitor the situation and work with state and local officials to get us all back to in person services soon. 

  • Trip to Israel

    Pastor Bussman is planning on leading a trip to Israel from September 15th to the 28th in 2019. More details will be forthcoming. Please see Pastor if you may be interested in this trip.