What we’re about:
“To celebrate Christ’s gift to us,
serving and witnessing to the
people in our community.”
Hamilton Lutheran Church - St Matthew’s is one of 14 Lutheran congregations in New Zealand. We were established, as a congregation 1954. In 1955 a manse was purchased and a pastor called to serve.
The foundation stone of our first church building at 27 Abbotsford Street, Hamilton, (photo) was laid on the 7th April, 1957 and the building dedicated the same year on the 8th September.
A Sunday School room was added in 1962 and after additional land was purchased adjoining the church property a new manse (photo) was built and dedicated in 1966.
The church building was extended with the addition of a hall and was dedicated in 1976.
As a congregation of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand we are in synod with the Lutheran Church of Australia which is connected to the family of Lutheran Churches around the world. The Lutheran traditon is the largest Protestant denomination in the world with more than 70 million Lutheran members.
The greatest number of Lutherans are in northern Europe, especially Scandinavia, Asia, Africa and the USA. While in New Zealand and Australia there are about 75,000 Lutherans.
The Lutheran Church is the oldest Protestant church dating back to the Reformation in the 16th century when Martin Luther emphasised that God is gracious to sinners and we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ.
The Lutheran Church has been in New Zealand and Australia for more than 160 years. Today the Lutheran church is made up of people from both urban and rural areas and includes many cultural backgrounds.
The Lutheran Church of New Zealand Logo
reminds us that Christ is the centre of the church. The style of the cross suggests that the church is moving forward and outwards. The cross is breaking out beyond the circle; the church's mission is to take the Gospel to all people. The cross is gold because Jesus is our King and our greatest treasure.
The Southern Cross
shows that the Lutheran church belongs in Australasia. It acknowledges God as creator.
The red flames
represent the power and effect of the Holy Spirit, who creates faith in Jesus and calls us to serve Him and point others to Him. The three flames form one flame - a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
represents our unity in Christ and reminds us that God is eternal.
Grace and peace from the Lord. As you desire to know whether my painted seal, which you sent to me, has hit the mark, I shall answer most amiably and tell you my original thoughts and reason about why my seal is a symbol of my theology. The first should be a black cross in a heart, which retains its natural colour, so that I myself would be reminded that faith in the Crucified saves us. "For one who believes from the heart will be justified" (Romans 10:10). Although it is indeed a black cross, which mortifies and which should also cause pain, it leaves the heart in its natural colour. It does not corrupt nature, that is, it does not kill but keeps alive. "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17) but by faith in the crucified. Such a heart should stand in the middle of a white rose, to show that faith gives joy, comfort, and peace. In other words, it places the believer into a white, joyous rose, for this faith does not give peace and joy like the world gives (John 14:27). That is why the rose should be white and not red, for white is the colour of the spirits and the angels (cf. Matthew 28:3; John 20:12). Such a rose should stand in a sky-blue field, symbolizing that such joy in spirit and faith is a beginning of the heavenly future joy, which begins already, but is grasped in hope, not yet revealed. And around this field is a golden ring, symbolizing that such blessedness in Heaven lasts forever and has no end. Such blessedness is exquisite, beyond all joy and goods, just as gold is the most valuable, most precious and best metal. This is my compendium theologiae [summary of theology]. I have wanted to show it to you in good friendship, hoping for your appreciation. May Christ, our beloved Lord, be with your spirit until the life hereafter. Amen.
Luther’s Works Vol. 49 p.356-359, translated from WA Br. 5.45
… in one true God.
Lutherans share the belief of all other Christians that the one true God has made Himself known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
… that God loves all people.
Lutherans believe that God the Father, Son and Spirit is all-powerful and loves every human being, and that He wants all people to know Him and relate to Him in love and trust.
… in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is God’s Son. Jesus paid the price for all human sin and evil by giving up His life as a payment for all the sin and evil of human beings. He has made it possible for all of us to be fully restored to live in peace with God and with each other. By His dying He destroyed our death and by His rising He raises us to new life.
… forgiveness is a free gift.
Because of Jesus, God has forgiven all sins of all people. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness or pay for it. God offers His forgiveness to everyone as a free gift in Christian Baptism. It is ours as we believe in Jesus as our Saviour.
… what the Bible says.
The Bible is the Word of God. Lutherans believe that the good news about Jesus is the heart of the whole Bible.
...that God comes to us in His Word and Sacraments in the Divine Service of Worship.
Lutheran worship is God coming to His people in His Word as it is proclaimed and enacted in baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, and we His people respond in thanks and praise.