How do I become a member?
We have members from San Diego to Solvang and beyond California borders. While distances prevent many from attending service every week most maintain strong bonds with the church and cultural center and participate in services and events whenever possible.
It is easy to become a member. Request and complete an application then give it to the pastor who will present it to the church council for approval. It does not cost anything to become a member or be a member. However, members are encouraged to financially support the church and cultural center to the extent possible for each member in order for us to best serve the needs of the congregation.
What do I wear?
Given that we live in southern California people come to our services both casual and dressed up.
Why is there a ship hanging from the ceiling?
In our church sanctuary a beautiful church ship hangs from the ceiling above the nave. To Danes it symbolizes both the church being a safe ship on the vast ocean of life while simultaneously recognizing Danes as great sailors, fishermen and merchant mariners throughout history.
What Danish traditions do you celebrate?
We celebrate Danish traditions during our church year such as Fastelavn at lent (a carnival for the kids at the beginning of the Lenten season), a Harvest Service in Fall and preparing for Advent and Christmas with a Klippe-Klistre (Cut & Paste Decorations) in late November. Our Danish history and heritage is continuously incorporated into our services and events through the year and its seasons.
What do you believe?
God’s love extends to all people. We are all part of God’s creation, created in his image. God’s love cannot be earned; nor is God’s love a reward for who we are, what we do or do not do. God offers love and forgiveness to all people through his son, Jesus Christ. God’s grace is beyond human comprehension. God is a Triune God. God created and loves all creation. Jesus Christ transforms lives through his life, teaching and resurrection, and the Holy Spirit works in the world. We are called to minister to all people in our world, knowing that the world is often an unloving place. We are challenged by the Gospel to be agents of healing within our society.
Who is N.F.S. Grundtvig?
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (N.F.S. Grundtvig), (1783-1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, politician and pastor. He remains one of the most influential persons in Danish History, exerting influence on both Danish culture and Danish spiritual life. Grundtvig is credited with having a very influential role in the formation of a modern Danish consciousness and, even more, the formation of the Danish National Church commonly known as Folkekirken [The People’s Church]. We are Lutherans, but we are Grundtvigians as well. Some refer to us as “Happy Danes”, a name we carry with honor. We still sing a lot of Grundtvig’s hymns and historical songs. We have adopted his guiding principle of “Human first, then Christian” as our motto.
What is a Lutheran?
Lutherans are Christians who follow the teachings of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), a German monk and theologian who challenged the Roman Catholic Church in the early 16th century. Denmark became Lutheran through the national Reformation in 1536. Our church carries on some of the oldest Lutheran traditions. Lutherans hold to the basic principles of Luther’s theological teachings: Saved by Grace alone Justified by Faith alone Based on Scripture alone Lutherans center their faith on the divinely inspired words of the Old and New Testaments written by humans. Our faith is supported by docu- ments written by Martin Luther, some of his contemporaries and later Lutheran theologians. Lutherans have two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. In Baptism we become God’s children and at Holy Communion we receive forgiveness for our sins. The Lutheran church regularly uses the The Apostolic Creed, The Nicene Creed and The Athanasian Creed during service. These creeds date back to the early times of Christianity.
What can I expect?
Our church is a liturgical church. Our worship service follows a similar structure each Sunday. At each service we gather in the name of Jesus, listen to the gospel, pray, sing, share communion and are sent out to serve. A liturgical church divides the church year into various seasons such as Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, Advent and Christmas.