Who we are
Shells Evangelical Lutheran Church is part of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and the greater Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are a country church with a welcoming congregational family. Despite our building's small size, we serve our community and the greater Lutheran Church in many ways. Established in 1819 and built in 1825, we’ve spent over two hundred years sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Word and Sacrament. We have a strong worship and music ministry that leads us in prayer, preaching of the Word, celebration of Holy Communion, reflection, and song. Cleansed in the waters of Baptism and nourished with the Word and Sacraments we answer God's call to ministry in the world.
We are a traditional and liturgical Lutheran Church. This means we follow a consistent historical ritual every week that is centered around Word and Sacrament. EVERYONE is welcome to our liturgies. All baptized Christians are welcome to partake in the Lord’s Supper. We have two worship times each week at 9am on Sundays and Wednesdays. On Sunday you can expect to hear a homily/sermon, four Scripture readings, and music accompanied by the organ, choir, and other instrumentalists. On Wednesday you can expect to hear three Scripture readings, a shorter homily/sermon, and a spoken liturgy.
We are a community of the Triune God, nourished by Word and Sacrament, sent forth by the Holy Spirit into the Grantville community and beyond to share the life-changing news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
What We Believe
The Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds
These are the Three Ecumenical Creeds that are professed by mainline Christian Churches. They are professions of faith in the Triune God passed down through Church Tradition. We confess these three Creeds.
The Holy Trinity
We are people who believe and confess our faith in the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We trust and believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, who is both fully God and fully man.
The Reality of Sin
We believe and confess that all human beings are sinners, and that sinners are redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God alone justifies human beings by grace through faith in Christ – a faith that God creates through the message of the Gospel.
The Word of God
We believe and confess that the Bible is God’s revealed Word to us, spoken in Law and Gospel. The Bible is the final authority for us in all matters of our faith and life.
Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper) are the two sacraments in the Lutheran Tradition. We believe that a sacrament is the Word of God yoked with an earthly element which offers the recipient the forgiveness of their sins. We believe that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the water in Baptism is made holy and that the bread and wine during Communion becomes the real presence of Jesus Christ.
The Book of Concord
We accept and uphold that the Lutheran Confessions reliably guide us as faithful interpretations of Scripture, and that we share a unity and fellowship in faith with others among whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and the sacraments are administered in accordance with the Gospel.
The Mission of the Church
We believe and confess that the church is the assembly of believers called and gathered by God around Word and Sacrament, and that the mission and ministry of the church is carried out within the context of individual congregations, which are able to work together locally and globally.