Upper Arlington Lutheran Church (UALC) is a large, diverse congregation that gathers in two locations in central Ohio. God has given us a variety of opportunities to connect with His people, whoever they may be, to share His love and the gift of salvation found only in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the reason we exist, and why we do everything we do.
We believe that God has called us to be an Oasis of his kingdom for a dry and thirsty world. We envision a future where we are so well-watered in the love and truth and Spirit of Christ that it transforms our life together, and people who encounter our church community would say, “See how they love one another,” to the glory of God.
This vision rests on four important convictions:
It is God’s Oasis, and it could only ever happen by His grace and power. We are sinful people in constant need of forgiveness. If this vision of Christlike love comes true, it will be because Jesus first loved us and gave himself for us on the cross.
We are an oasis community, a family of brothers and sisters in Christ learning life together in the way of Jesus by the power of the Spirit. The shape of our life together is the shape of the cross. Christlike love isn’t easy or sentimental; it is sacrificial and powerful.
An oasis is not a fortress. We invite people in and carry Living Water out.
There is a desert; there are mirages; there is an enemy. We are in a battle, but we know God wins!
The mission of our church is to be and to make disciples of Jesus Christ, which is the mission Jesus gave his whole Church 2,000 years ago. This Oasis vision gives us a picture of that universal Christian mission as we carry it out here at UALC.
When you come to worship at UALC, you will experience a mix of practices that don’t always go together, but they do for us! For example:
You will see that we intentionally confess our sin and receive the announcement of God’s forgiveness. We share the Lord’s Table in worship every Sunday. And we keep a pretty regular pattern in our worship life because we understand that how we worship and pray together is formative for how we live together. This is typical for “sacramental” churches, particularly Lutheran churches like ours.
You will see that we give a prominent place to reading and learning from the Bible. And we will offer an invitation to say “yes” to Jesus for the first time and more fully all the time for those who are already Christians. These things are typical for “evangelical” churches, and that describes us too.
You will also find people who are willing to pray with or for you if you want that. We listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and we seek God’s healing power in body, mind, and spirit. These things are typical for “charismatic” churches, and this too is part of who we are.
As a shorthand for all this, we say that we are a “three-streams church.” We draw from the sacramental, evangelical, and charismatic streams of Christian tradition. We believe that we are at our best when we hold these values in constructive and healthy tension.
What We Believe
We believe, teach, and preach under the authority of the Christian faith as it has been handed down to us across countless generations from Jesus and his first apostles and disciples. We believe in the Triune God and affirm the historic creeds of the church: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed.
We are a member of two different Lutheran networks: Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). We subscribe to the historical writings of the Lutheran Reformation (often called the “Book of Concord” or “Lutheran Confessions”) that help to keep us clearly Jesus-centered and Biblically faithful.
The formal statement of our congregation’s “confession of faith” is found in our church’s constitution. It is published below if you’d like to read it.
If you are theologically inclined or would like to explore any of these topics in more detail, we recommend that you talk with one of our pastors who could explain all of this in a more personal way and address your own individual questions.
ARTICLE II—CONFESSION OF FAITH
This congregation confesses the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is the Word of God incarnate, through Whom everything was made and through whose life, death, and resurrection God fashions a new creation.
This congregation confesses the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. The proclamation of God's message to us as both Law and Gospel is the Word of God, revealing judgment and mercy through word and deed, beginning with the Word in creation, continuing in the history of Israel, and centering in all its fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
This congregation accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the written, inerrant and infallible Word of God and the authoritative and reliable source and norm of its proclamation, faith and life. Inspired by God's Spirit speaking through their authors, the Scriptures record and announce God's revelation centering in Jesus Christ. Through them God's Spirit speaks to us to create and sustain Christian faith and fellowship for service in the world.
This congregation accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this congregation. This congregation accepts the unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel.
This congregation accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the church.
This congregation confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the church for God's mission in the world.
UALC Vision Videos
In this series, you’ll see how our Oasis vision is guiding, and coming true in, our worship life, our experience of belonging together, our partnership and mobilization in ministry, in education, and in our Next Gen ministries for children, youth, and families.