Located eleven miles apart, the Swedish settlements of Siren and Frederic, Wisconsin have had ties with the Lutheran tradition since their inception. These immigrants came from a country where the state religion was Lutheranism. They would later become members of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Synod, a Lutheran church body made up primarily of Swedes in this country.
The West Sweden township became a haven for Swedes. The Lutheran church in West Sweden was established in 1873. The hearty lumberjacks and their families flocked to the newly formed town of Frederic around the turn of the century and on May 29, 1905, with the blessing of the good people from West Sweden, Scandinavian Lutheran Pilgrim Church was organized.
Siren, from the Swedish word Syren, meaning “lilac”, was mainly settled by Swedish immigrants from Chicago, many greatly influenced by the Evangelical Covenant Mission Church movement. This pietist movement was different than the confessional (orthodox) group in West Sweden. In 1891 a church was formed. In 1920, a group of people wishing to adhere to the more “Lutheran” aspects of their tradition called upon the Minnesota Conference of the Augustana Synod and on April 9th, 1921 the constitution of Bethany Lutheran Church of Siren was adopted. Bethany is grateful for 100 years of grace and growth. Thanks be to God!
In 2012 Bethany and Pilgrim Lutheran became a parish. Throughout the years, these congregations have witnessed a lot: railroads, fashions, wars, recession, and mergers. Yet they have remained steadfast intheir faith in Jesus Christ and their commitment to love and serve the Lord!
Ära vare Gud! Glory be to God!
As believers of the One Triune God, we confess that Jesus Christ became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, lived among us, gave us the graces of the sacraments, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose from the dead and, therefore, conquered death and evil! All who are baptized in the name of Christ are therefore baptized into his death and resurrection! Alleluia!!
We believe that God continues to be present among us, as the Body of Christ on earth. Christ is present in the Holy Sacraments:
where we are nourished by His Body and Blood through the bread and wine.
where our old selves die and we rise up out of the water a new creation, clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.
The Rite of Baptism happens once in a person's lifetime, whereas Holy Communion is shared every Lord's Day with the intent to nourish us as we start the week.
The highest authority in the Lutheran tradition is Scripture.
Lutheran Christians believe that we are part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. This means that along with most other Protestants (e.g. Presbyterians/Methodists/Anglicans, etc.) Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and other Christians, that our foundation dates back to Jesus Christ and his apostles. In the early 16th century, an Augustinian monk and Old Testament scholar named Rev. Dr. Martin Luther wrestled with the questions of a loving God in the midst of a corrupt ecclesial and governmental institution (the church at the time). Once Luther returned to the real sources that mattered (scripture) he (re)discovered what early church theologians like St. Paul and St. Augustine had preached all along: Justification by grace through faith. This means that we are saved (made right/justified) from our sinful self and world by God's free gift (grace) through the faith given to us in relationship with God.
This theological insight sparked the Reformation.
The Wittenberg University became the center of the movement to bring the church back to the sources and end its abuses against the people. People then as now believe that this movement would have caused a sect to form within Roman Catholicism, similar to the Jesuits, or Franciscans. Tragically, all those who took a stand with Luther were excommunicated by Pope Leo X. Throughout the last five centuries there has been a concerted effort from both Lutherans and Roman Catholics as well as Orthodox Christians to work toward unity including apologies, documents of unity (Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, 1999) and (Joint Declaration of Pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan, 2017). We believe that the Book of Concord, a collection of our confessions, is consistent with teachings from Scripture and it is our norm and authority.
Of course, there are many stereotypes of Lutherans, especially here in the midwest! This is because all of the Scandinavian countries had Lutheranism as their state religion and many brought their religion with them to this country.
If you would like to study Lutherans in their natural habitats, listen to Prairie Home Companion, go to a beer hymn sing, watch this video, or join us for coffee and bars after worship!
We are members of the Evangelical Lutheran in America (ELCA) under the leadership of our Presiding Bishop Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Eaton. Click here to go to the churchwide website: https://www.elca.org/
The ELCA has 65 synods. We are part of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and our bishop is Bishop Laurie Skow-Anderson. Click here to go to the Synod website: nwswi.org/
The ELCA is part of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The LWF is the global communion of Lutheran churches and it is overseen by the president, Bishop Henrik Stubkjaer (bishop of Viborg Diocese in Denmark) Click here to go to the LWF website: https://www.lutheranworld.org/
Each congregation has their own elected council and the parish board is made up of equal representation from both congregations.