Laestadian Lutheran Church of Elk River
Our Faith, Our Mission, Our History
The Holy Bible and the Lutheran Confessions are the doctrinal foundation in Conservative Laestadianism. Centermost is the sermon of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. The work of Christ continues in this world as the work of the Holy Spirit in His congregation.
In Conservative Laestadianism it is taught that the Holy Spirit performs the work of salvation through the gospel. God sanctifies a sinner within His congregation. The congregation and its members have been entrusted with the word of reconciliation. The proclamation of the gospel is the office of the Holy Spirit. His followers use this authority. While preaching this gospel to all people, they also proclaim the remission of sins, which is the essence of the gospel. Therein the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name and blood is proclaimed to the sinner. Faith comes by hearing and through hearing the word of Christ.
In the content of our teaching, the principles of the Reformation are regarded to be the most important. According to these principles, the Holy Bible is the highest authority in questions regarding faith and life and man is made righteous alone by faith, alone by grace, alone by the merits of Christ.
Faith is a gift of God. God has given the gift of faith to everyone born into this world.
Baptism is the covenant of a good conscience with God. In baptism God strengthens the child's faith and lifts him into the care of the congregation. An individual who has fallen from the grace of baptism can receive the gift of faith anew through repentance.
Repentance is a change of heart. According to Luther, it includes penitence and distress on account of sin, but at the same time believing the gospel or the absolution of sin. The essence of the gospel is the forgiveness of sins.
Communion is a memorial meal established by Jesus. It is intended for believers for the strengthening of their faith.
The kingdom of God is to be found on earth according to the teachings of Jesus. It is a kingdom of grace on earth and a kingdom of glory in heaven. The kingdom of God is one-minded in faith, doctrine, and love.
The mission of our central organization, the Laestadian Lutheran Church, and its congregations is:
To preach the gospel of repentance and remission of sins to the people of our communities, our nations, and throughout the world so that they might become partakers with us of the grace that God offers sin-fallen man in His Son Jesus Christ.
To nurture and strengthen the faith of the believing and root our children in Christian faith in God's kingdom.
To awaken and inspire Christian values and ethics, soberness of mind, love of homeland, and responsible citizenship among the people of our nations.
In order to accomplish this mission, the Laestadian Lutheran Church arranges and holds services at home and abroad, teaches and supports the teaching of God's Word among children and youth, publishes literature, newspapers, magazines, and recordings. It also works with its sister organizations around the world.
Please visit the Laestadian Lutheran Church Web Site for further information on our central organization and how to receive additional scriptural teachings on our faith.
Believers have been meeting in the Twin Cities area since 1895, when a small group gathered in northeast Minneapolis to establish the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Congregation of Minneapolis. This is believed to be the oldest Finnish congregation in Minneapolis. Due to spiritual schisms since that time and many groups using the name "Apostolic Lutheran," the name was eventually changed to the "Laestadian Lutheran Church."
After holding services in the city of Minneapolis for a number of years, the congregation moved to Plymouth, Minnesota. Subsequently, many believers moved to areas west of Plymouth, and the Rockford congregation was established in 1992. Believers have lived in the Elk River area for some time, attending services primarily in the Minneapolis and Rockford congregations. As more believers began to settle in the area, Bible Class was organized and held at Lincoln Elementary School (Elk River) in April of 2002. In November of 2006, a group of believers gathered to discuss the interest in formally organizing a congregation. By the end of the evening, the Elk River Congregation had been formed, and the Laestadian Lutheran Church of Elk River (LLCER) was formally accepted as an LLC member congregation in February 2007.
In December 2007 the congregation purchased land in Nowthen, MN and began the process of fundraising and planning for a church building. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on June 26, 2016 and the first service event was held on November 19, 2017. Dedication services were held April 20-22, 2018.