St. Ansgar is a community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

As the ELCA website states: "The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us, as in the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover, and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world. 

We are a church that is always being made new, and at the same time, is deeply rooted in Scripture, Lutheran theology, and Lutheran confessions. We are also rooted in the vibrant, diverse communities and rich histories of our congregations. It is through these roots that the Holy Spirit guides and nourishes us so that we can be a church that's resilient and always new. 

We welcome you to join this community of faith  the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — regardless of your age, race, gender, life experience, complexities and questions. You have a unique story that can only add to the richness of the larger story that makes up the ELCA. There is a place for you here!

Learn more about the ELCA >

What Do you mean by "Evangelical" in a Lutheran Context?

In our context, the world "Evangelical" has a very different meaning than it does in the rest of our American culture. We believe in God's love for every person, just as they are, and believe in sharing that love with others. Therefore, for us, being Evangelical sometimes looks like sharing stories about our faith or our faith community, but it most often means serving our neighbors through knitting and sharing prayer shawls with friends and neighbors, serving meals at Preble Street Soup Kitchen, collecting non-perishable food items, inviting community groups to use our space for their meetings, handing out dog treats while marching in the Portland Pride Parade, and advocating for the needs of our entire community here in Portland. 

We are proud to be a member of the ELCA, the most progressive Lutheran denomination in the United States. We ordain women and LGBTQ people. We celebrate that God calls us out into the world. 

New England Synod

We are also a member of the New England Synod of the ELCA. This means we make decisions with and are connected to all the Lutheran congregations in New England. This means we are continually in conversation with and working with a variety of people and church communities. Once a year, representatives from each of the (300-something) congregations get together to make these decisions about how we hope to be the church together.

< Check out the New England Synod