The Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA) is the major Lutheran denomination in Australia, it also has a presence in New Zealand. It has 320 parishes, 540 congregations, 70,000 baptized members in Australia, 1,130 baptized members in New Zealand, 52,463 communicant members and 450 active pastors. Its background is similar to that of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in the United States. The current President of the LCA is the Reverend Doctor Mike Semmler.
The first Lutherans to come to Australia in any significant number, were the immigrants from Prussia, who arrived in 1838 with Pastor August Kavel. This period in Prussia was marked by a persecution of “Old Lutherans” who refused to join the Prussian Union, under King Frederick Wilhelm.
In 1841, a second wave of Prussian immigrants started, with the arrival of Pastor Gotthard Fritzsche. He settled with the migrants in his group, in Lobethal, and Bethany. The Lutheran church in this period, is referred to as the Kavel-Fritzsche Synod.
A split occurred in 1846, within the South Australian Lutheran community, and two separate synods were established. The followers of Kavel founded the Langmeil-Light Pass Synod, and those of Fritzsche the Bethany-Lobethal Synod.
These two groups came eventually to be named the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Australia, which derived from the Bethany-Lobethal Synod, and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia which was of the Langmeil-Light Pass Synod, and a number of other synods that developed. These two denominations joined to form the Lutheran Church of Australia in 1966.
A significant influx occurred post World War II and migration also brought a number of Lutherans from other European countries.
The official hymn book of the Lutheran Church of Australia is the Lutheran Hymnal with Supplement.
Taken from the Lutheran Church of Australia website "About the Logo".
|“||reminds us that Christ is the centre of the church. The style of the cross suggests that the church is moving forward and outwards. The cross is breaking out beyond the circle; the church's mission is to take the gospel to all people. The cross is gold because Jesus is our king and our greatest treasure.||”|
|“||shows that the Lutheran church belongs in Australasia. It acknowledges God as creator.||”|
The Red FlamesEdit
|“||represent the power and effect of the Holy Spirit, who creates faith in Jesus and calls us to serve him and point others to him. The three flames form one flame - a symbol of the Holy Trinity.||”|
|“||represents our unity in Christ and reminds us that God is eternal.||”|
Current status and issuesEdit
The LCA teaches strongly the authority of the Bible as the primary source of revelation and instruction for Christians. This Lutheran doctrine is known as sola scriptura. Though revelation through experience is of importance, it does not prevail over sola scriptura.
Current discussions before the Synod of the denomination in Australia and New Zealand are about the ordination of women as pastors. At present women can serve as lay readers, servants providing Holy Communion, but not, except in rare cases, as pastors. The discussion about the ordination of women touches on the deeper issue of the role of the pastor with the growing desire amongst laypeople to perform roles traditionally performed by the pastor.
The LCA is experiencing declining membership across Australia with pressure to modernise whilst speaking prophetically.
The Australian Lutheran College offers theological and teacher education. There are around thirty schools in each of South Australia and Queensland and about fifteen in Victoria, with much smaller numbers of schools in all of the other States and Territories of Australia.
- member of the National Council of Churches in Australia
- The LCA relates to world Lutheranism on a case by case basis
- There is altar and pulpit fellowship with the two churches in Papua New Guinea
- Associate member of the
- Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA)
- Lutheran Church of New Zealand (LCNZ)
- Australian Lutheran College, North Adelaide, South Australia
- Lutheran Community Care Queensland
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