- Laestadian Lutheran Church
Laestadian Lutheran Church was organized on
June 9, 1973under the name Association of American Laestadian Congregations (AALC). The association changed its name in 1994in order to better convey its spiritual heritage. Today the Laestadian Lutheran Church has twenty-nine member congregations in the United Statesand Canada. The highest concentrations of members are in Minnesota, Washington, Arizona, Michigan, and Saskatchewan. The congregations are served by sixty-eight ministers, nearly all of them lay preachers. Its brother organization in Finlandis Conservative Laestadians Suomen rauhanyhdistysten keskusyhdistys, in Sweden Sveriges fridsföreningarnas centralorganisationand in EstoniaEesti Luterlik Rahuühendus.
The teachings of Laestadianism are based on the
Bibleand the Lutheran Confessions. The main teaching among them is of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection. The work of Jesus Christ continues in this world as the work of the Holy Spirit. The Laestadian Lutheran Church teaches of God's kingdom and need for repentance and the forgiveness of sins. The church holds, in accord with the Lutheran Confessions, that the Bible is the highest guide and authority for Christianfaith, doctrine, and life.
The Laestadian Lutheran Church takes its name from
Martin Lutherand Lars Levi Laestadius. Lars Levi Laestadius was a Lutheranpastor who served in northern Swedenfrom 1825 to 1861. The movement reached North Americawith Finnish immigrants in the 1860s. Congregations were first formally organized in Cokato, Minnesotain 1872and Calumet, Michiganin 1873. The Laestadian movement in North America has suffered a number of schisms since 1890. The subjects of disagreement have mainly been: the understanding of justification, God's congregation, and the sacraments. The last division occurred in 1973, and resulted in the establishment of the Laestadian Lutheran Church.
Laestadianism in America
* [http://www.laestadianlutheran.org Laestadian Lutheran Church Home page]
* [http://www.laestadianlutheran.org/main_menu.html Who We Are]
* [http://www.srk.fi SRK in Finland]
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