The ELCA is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, founded in 1988. It is 10,000 communities-strong, with 4.2 million members across the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Rooted in the theology of Martin Luther, the ELCA embraces the Small and Large Catechism, and celebrates the work of renowned theologians past and present, including Reinhold Niebuhr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and countless others. At the core of the ELCA mission is its commitment to social justice and active work in communities across the world—for the improvement of living conditions, community development, and education. The synod's tagline, "God's work. Our hands.," speaks to the active theology that is at the heart of the ELCA. For more information about the history and teachings of the ELCA synod, visit elca.org.
The roots of Roman Catholicism date back to early centuries of Christianity. For two millenia, the Catholic Church has functioned as one of the largest expressions of Christian faith in the world—present in virtually every country across the globe and encompassing more than 1.2 billion members. At the heart of this tradition is a threefold foundation in church doctrine, church tradition, and Scripture. Though there are now multiple expressions of Catholic faith and ritual the world over, the Roman Catholic tradition is the oldest. Read more about the Catholic tradition at vatican.va.