The Community of University Lutheran Church connects people to God and to each other on their spiritual journeys by the Gospel of Christ’s nurturing love.
We offer a ministry that flows from the Gospel news of God’s gift to all.
We serve the UCSD campus and the metropolitan area.
We welcome all with hospitality and respect.
We live within a community of genuine relationships.
We support each other as we strive for personal growth and wholeness.
That truth is shared.
That Jesus is God's best message.
That God is not silent.
That Scripture is central.
That we have failed God.
That God has put things right.
That God still speaks today.
That the sacraments give life.
That we are called to serve.
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A big thank you to the interim pastors currently serving ULC.
Henry is a 4th year undergraduate student at UCSD. An LCMS PK, Henry's mission is to serve the Lord however he can.
Russell is a third year undergraduate at UCSD studying physics. His mission is to serve the Lord by serving others.
...That truth is shared.
The Truth is Out There, God Wants You to Have it . . .
The Lutheran church stands within the mainstream of Christian faith and makes no claim to have some revelation or truth denied to other Christians. The largest Protestant denomination on this planet, with members around the world, the Lutheran church dates back to the 1500's and the Reformation led by Martin Luther.
The Augsburg Confession, a faith statement which binds all Lutherans together, declares that Lutheranism is not a sect but rather one expression of the worldwide Christian community.
Lutherans also share with other Christians traditional statements such as the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, in which early Christians expressed their faith. So, in a real sense, Lutheranism dates back to Christ.
...That Jesus is God's best message.
This promise was fulfilled. Lutherans believe in Jesus of Nazareth, who is referred to in John's gospel as "The Word" (John 1:1-18). Lutherans believe that Jesus is the clearest, the best of all the messages that God did – or ever will – give to us. That message can be summarized in one sentence: God loves us more than anything else in the universe, enough to come in person and die for us.
....That God is not silent.
Lutherans have put special emphasis on the Word of God. They stress that God communicates – has spoken and speaks – with human beings. God spoke in the beginning and the heavens and earth were created. God spoke to Abraham and called him and his descendants to be a chosen people through whom God's will would be made known to all peoples (Genesis 12:1-2). God spoke to Abraham's descendants – first the Hebrews, then the Jews – through events in their history and through inspired prophets. An important part of God's communication to them was the promise of the coming Christ, the one who would fulfill God's will.
...That Scripture is central.
The Word that God has spoken continues to speak to us through the message of the Holy Scripture. Lutherans look to the scriptures as a final authority for belief and practice. The Scriptures' message is shaped by ancient cultures, but their purpose and promises for us are as fresh and reliable as tomorrow's sunrise.
...That we have failed God.
Lutherans believe that God's messages to us fall into two categories: Law and Gospel. "Law" includes all the demands that God makes upon us for right living. We are commanded to love, obey, and serve God, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But when we seriously try to do this, we know that we cannot, we always fail. It is not only because we do not try hard enough, we fail because we are sin-full (our nature is corrupt and weak) But the law keeps nagging us, it's message is bad news.
...That God has put things right.
The word Gospel means "good news". The good news that God brings to us is that what we fail to do, God has done for us in Christ. In Christ we are offered God's forgiving grace (pardon which we need but do not deserve). God accepts us where and as we are. We do not need to earn, deserve, or win God's love: God bestows it freely upon us. All that we need to do is have faith – that is, trust – God's promise to us. God assists us even here, by creating faith in our hearts when we do not resist the gift. This understanding of the gospel has been called justification by grace through faith. This means that we are made right with God by God's action for us which we receive in faith.
...That God still speaks today.
Lutherans believe that God did not simply speak to us in the past. God continues to speak today. God speaks where Christians faithfully interpret the words of the Scripture to others. Lutheran worship services give a central place to the sermon (the pastor's preaching), because this is a particular place where God's Word is interpreted among believers. But the Sunday sermon is not the only place where God speaks. God speaks through the Scripture, the prayers, and the liturgy of the worship itself. (These worship forms are, in some cases, two and three thousand years old and bind today's believers with the faithful who died long ago.) And Lutherans believe in the "priesthood of all believers" which means that God speaks through the words and actions of every Christian, wherever and whenever daily life is lived and shared.
...That the sacraments give life.
God has also given us two sacraments, Baptism and Holy Communion. Through these special actions he speaks to us. In Baptism the words and the water are a down-to-earth expression of God's loving embrace of one being baptized. Through Baptism God gives us new life as members of his body, the church. In Holy Communion that life is nurtured as Christ promises that he is with us, that all our sins are forgiven, and that our lives are renewed. In Holy Communion we are also linked in fellowship with our fellow church members, sharing a common forgiveness.
...That we are called to serve.
Lutherans believe that we ought to do the will of God –- to share His love – not because in this way we hope to win God's favor or to get some advantage for ourselves (we already have God's love and approval in Christ) but because we have the joy of fellowship with God. We love because we are thankful. We serve God not to be saved, but because we are saved.
Some people believe that Lutherans have a "cheap and easy" religion: God gives every good thing as a gift, so why bother then to try and please God? To say this is to misunderstand what Lutherans believe. While it is true that we cannot earn what we need from God, Lutherans know and teach that when God's gifts – his love and fellowship – are experienced, a person naturally responds to God with love and gratitude. The result is that while it costs nothing to receive God's benefits, it costs us everything. God receives our whole life as a thank-offering – when we begin to live with what he gives.
Lutherans believe that the central calling - the vocation - of the Christian life is to know and to do God's will. To do God's will is to serve our neighbor. God the creator has no needs that we can fulfill. Therefore, to please God we serve those whom God loves - our fellow human beings in the world. In particular, God calls us to serve the weak and the helpless. As we serve these, we serve Christ himself. (Matthew 25:41-46)