ABOUT ASCENSION

WHO WE ARE

We are members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).  Our denomination derives its name from Dr. Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s and from the state of Missouri where our Synod began in 1839.  The word "synod" comes from two Greek words that mean "walking together."  The term has rich meaning in our church body because congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod and hold to a shared confession of Jesus Christ as taught in Holy Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.


The teachings of Luther and the reformers can be easily summarized in three short phrases:  Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone.  


GRACE ALONE (Sola Gratia)—God loves the people of the world, even though they are sinful, rebel against Him, and do not deserve His love.  He sent Jesus, His Son, to love the unlovable and save the ungodly.  


FAITH ALONE (Sola Fide)—By His suffering and death as the substitute for all people of all time, Jesus purchased forgiveness and eternal life for them.  Those who hear this Good News and believe it have the eternal life that it offers.  God creates faith in Christ and gives people forgiveness through Him.  


SCRIPTURE ALONE (Sola Scriptura)—The Bible is God's inerrant and infallible Word, in which He reveals His Law and His Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.  It is the sole rule and norm for Christian doctrine.

OUR HISTORY

Ascension Lutheran Church, overlooking the West Side neighborhood of El Paso (off Westwind)  had humble beginnings.  We held our first worship service in the league room of Thunderbird Bowling Lanes on October 9, 1960.  Today we worship in a building that was dedicated on July 14th, 1985, located at 6520 Loma de Cristo.


Pastor H.W. (Pat) Brill accepted a call to organize a congregation on the West Side of El Paso.  He and his wife, Ethie, walked up and down the hills near Ridgemont Drive, telling people that there was going to be a new Lutheran church in their neighborhood.


Sixty three people attended that first service in October, with 17 attending Sunday School. The congregation moved into its new chapel at 131 Crestmont Drive on Christmas Eve, December 1960.  This was followed by groundbreaking for a Sunday School building April 19, 1964.

Ascension has, at this time, an accredited Preschool; filled to capacity with 75 students.  It was opened as a weekday kindergarten in September, 1964.  Pastor Brill preached his retirement sermon on May 25, 1975.


Looking at the past is but a prelude to the future.  Today Ascension is shepherded by Pastor Brian Bestian.  Through his leadership, Ascension is blessed with the continued outreach to the community, and sharing the Word through the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

About GOD

God has eternally existed and revealed Himself as three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The three Persons of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one God—Creator and Ruler of the Universe.

About HUMANITY

Humanity's first parents, Adam and Eve, were created in God's image, but doubted and deliberately rebelled against God.  As a result, every person is born with a sinful (self-centered) nature.  Sin separates people from God.  

About the BIBLE

The BIble, both the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired (God-breathed) and inerrant (without error) Word of God, and the only authoritative source and norm for Christian doctrine and practice.

About JESUS CHRIST

Jesus is the holy Son of God.  He is co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He was born of the virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless life, and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world by dying on a cross.  He arose from the dead three days later, demonstrating His power over sin and death.  He ascended to Heaven where He serves as the only Mediator between God and humanity.  He will return to earth visibly on the Last Day to judge the living and the dead and take all believers in Him to eternal life and glory.

About SALVATION

We are saved only by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, which is a free gift of the Holy Spirit to us (Ephesians 2:8-10).  People can never make up for their sin by self-improvement or good works.  Only by trusting in Jesus Christ and His forgiveness can a person be saved from sin's penalty and eternal damnation.

About ETERNITY

People are created to exist forever.  Every person will either live eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation.  To be eternally separated from God is Hell.  To be eternally in union with Him is Heaven.  Heaven and Hell are the only two places of eternal existence.

About BAPTISM

Holy Baptism is a sacred act that brings us into God's kingdom and makes us members of the Body of Christ as we receive the Holy Spirit, who works faith in our hearts.  God Himself is present as His name and Word are joined to the water, with all His power and all His blessings of forgiveness, life and salvation (1 Peter 3:21).  In and through Baptism, God cleanses us from all our sins, snatches us from the power of Satan, and gives us everlasting life.  What is promised in Baptism is given to all who receive it; therefore, infants and young children also have the promises of God (Acts 2:39), because they too are part of "all nations" (Matthew 28:19) and are made children of God (Luke 18:15-17) by the Holy Spirit.

About COMMUNION

In His life-giving meal, Jesus distributes His true Body and Blood, which is received with the mouth along with the bread and wine (Real Presence) to His baptized and instructed believers for the forgiveness of sins and a strengthening of faith.  Thus, receiving His Body and Blood, we receive life and salvation.  This is not a symbolic eating and drinking.  We don't try to explain scientifically how Jesus does this.  As Martin Luther once said, "We see bread with our eyes.  But with our ears we hear that His Body is present."  The Holy Spirit gives us faith to trust in and believe Jesus' words, "Give and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins."