about us

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest progressive Lutheran body in the United States. 

As Lutherans, we go about Christianity in a Lutheran way, emphasizing that we are reconciled with God (justified) not by anything we do, but through and because of God’s love, freely given (grace). We love questions more than quick fixes (paradox); we read the Bible in a way that honors it as the source and norm of faith, but not as a literal handbook. As Lutherans, we also lift up the gifts and capacity for ministry (vocation) that everyone holds.

Holy Trinity is a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation welcoming all persons in Christ’s name regardless of sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, gender, class or other possible exclusionary distinctions. We seek an active commitment to inclusiveness in membership, evangelism, and social outreach. With a heart for the city, a passion for justice, and a commitment to the arts, we seek to be a place where all God’s people will know they are loved. Welcome. We’ve been waiting for you. There is a place for you here.

some brief history

With its signature copper spire (flèche), rose window, and red entry doors on Central Park West, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church has been a very visible and prominent part of New York’s Upper West Side community for over a century. The present church building was completed in 1904 and includes Gothic architecture and a Tiffany window designed by the famous Tiffany Studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Holy Trinity was founded in 1868 but later built at the current location when it outgrew its sanctuary downtown on West 21st Street (the building no longer exists.).

our relationship with Luther

We're not afraid to put it out there: the Lutheran way of going about Christianity is burdened by the virulent, anti-Semitic writings of Martin Luther. We are also burdened by the fact that the atrocities of the Holocaust were carried out in places where Lutheran were strongly represented, yet far too many churches fell silent. 

As Lutheran Christians, we are sorry. We plead for reconciliation with the Jewish community. We recognize in anti-Semitism a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel, a violation of our hope and calling, and we pledge this church to oppose the deadly working of such bigotry within our own circles and in the society around us.