The Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC) is the only Lutheran Church in Sri Lanka. We are a small Church, but we are here to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sri Lanka, and the love of Jesus Christ through educational and social programmes, according to our resources and abilities.
Biblical and Confessional
The CELC is the confessional Lutheran Synod in Sri Lanka. We are a Bible believing Church. We confess our faith according to the Lutheran confessions of the 16th century, which are contained in the Book of Concord, because they fully agree with the doctrine of Scripture. As a Church, we are always striving to grow in our knowledge and understanding of both Scripture and the Lutheran confessions, to conform all our practices to the true doctrine.
CELC works closely in fellowship with The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
The CELC has an episcopal polity for the spiritual oversight of the Church. All other matters are decided by the national Church Council.
At this time, there is not a bishop, until an episcopal election is held. During this time of transition, the Church is governed by the Board of Directors, until the local and national elections may take place.
The CELC Board of Directors makes decisions in consultation with members of the Ministerium and other church workers. The current office bearers are:
Rev. Roger B. James, Chairman
Rev. Steven Mahlburg, Secretary
Rev. Dr. Edward Naumann, Treasurer.
The CELC Logo
There are many different symbols for Christian Churches. The Luther Rose is the symbol for Lutheranism in Sri Lanka, as in many places in the world. Martin Luther himself designed the crest, and in a letter that he wrote to Lazarus Spengler in 1530, Luther gave the following explanation:
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 color, 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 color. 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 color 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.
Quote taken from Luther’s Works: American Edition, vol. 41, 356-9.