What is the Luther Foundation Finland?
Luther Foundation Finland
For the rebuilding of Lutheran faith and practice
Can traditional, Lutheran forms of worship reach the young and the old alike in the postmodern, urban culture of the 21st century? Is confessional Lutheran theology suited for missionary work even in the midst of an increasingly pluralistic society? Yes, it can. Yes, it is.
Luther Foundation was formed in 1999 and the first congregation organized itself 2000. The following years have witnessed an explosive growth, resulting in a nation-wide network of 17 congregations. There clearly is a dire need for clear proclamation, with new requests coming in continuously.
Faith, worship and love structure the life of the church
"Lutheran worship communities" are three words which crystallize both the purpose and the method of Luther Foundation's work. Lutheran faith and practice are the basis on which our communities stand. The theological decay of mainline Lutheranism in Finland and the doctrinal ambiguity of inter-denominational evangelicalism both claim that "missionary" and "Lutheran" simply do not mix. Our pastors have set out to challenge that notion. Theological integrity found in the Lutheran Confession does not merely solidify our own faith, but it also provides tools for countering the world of sin, guilt and unbelief.
Worship life in the divine service is the method of our work. No fads, no gimmicks. We believe that the Word purely preached and the Sacraments rightly administered are the tools Christ uses to build his church. Luther Foundation communities adhere to historic liturgy not because we have to, but because we want to. In a context saturated with fast-paced, instantly rewarding pop-culture, liturgical service offers a truly counter-cultural way of practicing our faith. Old - without being 'conservative'.
The Church is a community of believers, joined together by the Holy Spirit with bonds of love and a common faith. Our communities seek to form a fellowship of believers which also offers a much-needed social safe haven for people suffering from the hardships of over-individualistic culture and stressing lifestyle of our time. Christians of the Early Church were known not only for their message, but also for their love for each other. While social welfare may help to fulfil our physical needs, only a community of people can sustain us as social beings.
Working with friends abroad
The Swedish Mission Province and Luther Foundation Finland have close connections. Bishop Arne Olsson has ordained already six pastors for LFF to help build - with the rest of the collegium of twenty pastors - a free diocese in Finland. Services in around the country gather people of all ages and walks of life into a community of believers which also serves as a social bedrock for many. LFF congregations operate within the tradition of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, but are self-governing and financially independent.
With the help of Lutheran Heritage Foundation, Luther Foundation Finland has translated and published a variety of Lutheran literature and also a new hymnal. If you wish to support our cause, LHF is a good way to do that!
Luther-foundation is looking for ways to serve confessional Lutheran immigrants in Finland who - mainly because of linguistic challenges - feel unable to attend our regular services. Plans are underway for offering English worship services in Helsinki area, starting in the autumn 2009.
Come and visit us!
The summer of 2008 saw the start of a new phase with the purchase of LFF's Koinonia Center ("Fellowship") in Helsinki downtown area. The new property will provide much-needed space for administrative work as well as serve as a base of operations for a variety of activities, ranging from youth-groups to theological lectures and mid-week communion services. Be sure to visit us when you come to Helsinki!
Dean of LFF, Pastor of St. Mark's in Helsinki
S.T.M. (Fort Wayne)
Theological secretary, Pastor of St. Matthew's in Hämeenlinna
S.T.M. (Fort Wayne)