We believe that everyone is a child of God. We believe that there are two commandments that over-ride all else: Love God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your might, and love your neighbor as yourself. We believe, as Martin Luther wrote, that there are three ways we can come close to God: through our faith, through God's grace, and through the study of the Word. We believe, as the Apostle Paul did, that no matter how many talents we have or how much work we do, if we don't have love, we have nothing. We believe that God is particularly fond of all of us.
If you put all the Christian denominations on a scale, with Roman Catholic (with all the bells and whistles) on one end and non-denominational churches (think five songs, a 40-minute sermon, and very little if any ritual) on the other, Lutherans fall somewhere on the Catholic side. We are somewhere in between Episcopalian and Presbyterian, probably. But the people of Galilee have always had a diverse baockground...Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite, Presbyterian, Methodist and others. We care less about where you came from than where you are going. Bottom line is, we invite everyone to try us out, and If you can live with us, then we can probably live with you.
Do you have to be clean before you take a bath? Do yout have to take a test to go to church? We assume that if you come to Galilee, it's because you're looking for something, a connection with something bigger than yourself, or you have questions. We believe that God can speak to you while you're here and draw you back again. And again.
We follow the liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc.), each of which are denoted by their own colors; blue, white, purple, white again). The longest season is devoted to "the growth of the church," which is green. Special days have their own colors, too. We even have a tie-dye tablecloth we use on the altar from time to time. But to be honest, not a lot of people could tell you which color goes with which season. It's just something that some churches do.
We recommend you dress, but how you dress is up to you.
We normally see about 30 people on a Sunday morning, with others on Zoom or YouTube. The largest group we have had is about 55, and the smallest in the 20s. Christmas and Easter, of course, bring the largest groups (up to 100). Consequently, we are a family-sized group, we are glad to see new people, and it's hard to just come and hide in the back and leave without being noticed.
Galilee was founded in 1965 and was served by a variety of ministers until 2012. That year we lost our minister and were unable to afford to hire another. So we agreed as a congregation to continue without one. In the years since, we established a "lay-led ministry," in which members of Galilee led the services, preached, served the community, and did all those other things normally performed by ordained ministers. That time was a period of intense learning and personal growth. Then in 2021 we hired our present minister, Pastor Julie
Webb, and are beginning a new phase of our lives together.
The Lutheran church was formed in the 1500s with the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther (In 1519). Luther, by the way, would be appalled to have a church denomination named after him. Having said that, it is a fact that Galilee has always been rather eclectic in our backgrounds. Lutherans, Catholics, Mennonites, Presbyterians, Baptists...we have always had a variety of members. We do not run background checks at the door.
Galilee is accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and canes. There are no steps inside or outside the church building.
Of course! But in the tradition of Martin Luther, we believe that every individual has the right...the necessity...to read and understand Scripture in relation to their own experiences and understanding. And when we read, interpret and discuss Biblical writings, it's amazing how our understanding grows and takes on meaning for our own lives. We never say, "Don't argue with me...argue with the Bible!" Instead, we say, "What does this mean to you? Let's talk!"
Bella is the service dog of one of our members. She's probably the best-behaved member of Galilee.
At this time, we do not have a separate Sunday school for kids. We believe that children should not be excluded from the "adult" activities, but should be encouraged to participate in worship services. We DO have a table in the church sanctuary with colored pencils, coloring books, and stuff. We actually love to see and hear children. Wasn't it Jesus who said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me"? We hope they don't suffer too much.
Galilee Lutheran Church
8860 Soda Bay Road, Kelseyville, CA 95451
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