I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce you to Christ Lutheran Church, Hilton Head!
So, what’s a Lutheran, and who is Christ Lutheran Church, Hilton Head?
Lutheranism originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation when a Roman Catholic priest and university professor, Martin Luther, called for major reforms in the authority of the Roman Papacy. Luther had no intention of creating a break-away church or denomination. However, the reaction of the Roman Church to Luther’s writings and teachings made it clear that a schism was inevitable.
While Luther’s theology was firmly based on the Gospels, he was also drawn deeply into the writings of St. Paul, particularly those citations which teach that salvation is a gift freely given by God in Christ, and that no act on our part can merit that gift. Our “works” are then done in response to this great gift. This perspective on our relationship with the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is meant to free us from the burden of trying to earn our way into heaven. Lutherans believe that we are saved from sin by God's grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Scripture alone, and that faith itself is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
World-wide, the Lutheran Church, numbering nearly 80 million, is made up of different types of Lutheran denominations, based on interpretation of Scripture. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), of which Christ Lutheran Church, Hilton Head, is a member, has approximately 3.5 million baptized members in 9,252 congregations. The ELCA ordains men and women to be pastors, and we practice an open table, which means any person who is baptized in the name of the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), no matter their affiliation, is welcome to receive Holy Communion.
Christ Lutheran Church was officially organized as a family of faith in 1973. Our mission statement summarizes our purpose here: “We are disciples of Jesus, GROWING in faith, SERVING our community, and CONNECTING others to Christ.” We gather for worship on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. for a blended service (combining traditional and contemporary elements), 10:30 a.m. for a traditional mass, and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. for our CONNECTED Faith Encounter, an informal, experiential, and interactive worship experience.
We believe in effective ministry, both inside and outside our walls. We greatly emphasize outreach ministries, and are active with local nonprofit organizations Family Promise, Backpack Buddies, The Deep Well Project, and Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity. We support a mission church in the African nation of Malawi and participate in offering a weekly soup kitchen meal at St. James Baptist Church on Beach City Road.
Our flagship ministry to the community, Christ Lutheran Preschool, teaches social skills and prepares young students for future educational challenges, within a Christian environment. Our preschool, staffed by certified teachers, is licensed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the gold standard in preschool operations.
We invite you into our family to worship God in Christ, experience the joy of the Holy Spirit, discover your spiritual gifts, and apply them in ministries that make a difference our community.
The Rev. Dr. Emil H. Klatt III is pastor of Christ Lutheran Church-Hilton Head Island
CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH & PRESCHOOL | 829 WILLIAM HILTON PARKWAY | HILTON HEAD ISLAND | (843) 785.5560