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1701 Russell Blvd
Davis, CA 95616    (530) 756-5500

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About Lutheran Church of the Incarnation

"Sharing Christ's Light Daily"

We are seeking to be
    an inclusive, multi-generational congregation
        living in the grace of God, and
    a sanctuary that equips us
        for service in the community
        while bringing the Good News to all.
A Reconciling in Christ Community

A Brief History of LCI

LCI Welcome Brochure

Welcome to the website of Lutheran Church of the Incarnation!  We hope, as you navigate the different “pages” of this site, you will discover the many aspects of our ministry, find answers to your questions, or simply get to know the many resources this site has to offer.

We are a RECONCILING IN CHRIST community

We at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation strive to become the living embodiment of Christ by creating a loving, welcoming, and inclusive community.  We acknowledge that as human beings we all fall short in accepting people who are different from ourselves.

We believe we are challenged by Christ to care for, to love, to respect, and to listen to all.  This Affirmation of Welcome includes, but is not limited to race, age, marital or economic status, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, or personal history.

We struggle to better understand the mysteries of God's teachings and welcome all to join us as we grow together in Christ to witness and serve.  If you wish to learn more about what it means to be a Reconciling in Christ community, we invite you to call and speak with Pastor Dan or visit the web site of Lutherans Concerned / North America.

Incarnation is one of 10,500 congregations which make up the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (, locally organized into 215 congregations in northern California and northern Nevada through the Sierra Pacific Synod (  As Lutheran Christians, we celebrate:

        Jesus Christ
        Justification by grace through faith
        The Sacraments of Baptism and Communion
        Studying the Bible
        Worship as central in our life together
        Service to the larger community
        Vibrant music
        The "Priesthood of all Believers"

OK, everything probably made sense until you got to the "Priesthood of All Believers," right?  What does this mean?  At Incarnation, it means we are seeking to be a community of faith which welcomes and celebrates the gifts of all kinds of people.  Gifts, you may ask?  Yes, gifts – the gifts and abilities we believe we have been given to use every day to God’s glory.  We believe it isn’t just "the pastor’s job" to offer ministry – it’s the job of all of us! 

If you would like to learn more about how Incarnation is celebrating the gifts of its members and friends, look at the many ministries we offer.  None of these ministries could happen without the efforts and talents of people who are willing to share their gifts.

We’re glad you stopped by, and hope your visit will be a way to discover more about our community of faith.  If you have any difficulty finding the information you’re looking for, or if you’d like more information than the website can provide, please feel free to e-mail Pastor Dan.  We are located in Davis on the northwest corner of Russell Boulevard and Arthur Street, just west of Highway 113.  Click here for a map and directions to LCI.

A Brief History of LCI

November 29, 1964
The first service of the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation is held on the second floor of the Brinley Building at Second and E Streets in Davis.  The church, a congregation of the Lutheran Church in America, is founded by Reverend Arthur L. Henry.  Henry received his theological education from the Lutheran School of Theology in Rock Island, Illinois, and the Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut.
November 21, 1965
LCI officially becomes a member of the Lutheran Church in America.
March 27, 1966
Reverend John C. Wetzel is installed as pastor of LCI, replacing Arthur Henry who left to pursue graduate studies in Greek, Latin, and French at UCLA.  Pastor Wetzel graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA.  His installation takes place at The Episcopal Church of St. Martin, where LCI's services are being held while plans were under way to purchase land on Russell Boulevard for a permanent church site.
Fall 1966
LCI's worship services are temporarily held at the Varsity Theater in Davis.
November 5, 1967
Ground breaking ceremony is held for the new sanctuary and education building at the corner of Russell Boulevard and Arthur Street.  The building is designed by the architectural firm of Ostwald and Kelly of Berkeley, California, who model it after a contemporary Scandinavian form, and is built by James Adams Construction of Davis.  The estimated cost of the buildings is just over $200,000.  While the new church is being built, LCI continues to worship at the Varsity Theater.
May 26, 1968
First worship service is held in LCI's new sanctuary building at 9:30 am, led by members of the Lutheran Student Group at UC Davis.
August 1972
Pastor John Wetzel leaves LCI to take a position at St. John's Lutheran Church in Kailua, Hawaii.  While a new pastor is being sought, worship services and church functions are provided by Pastor Don Ranstrom, Lutheran Campus Pastor at UC Davis, Mrs. Ebba Johnson, ministerial consultant to the Cal Aggie Christian Association, and various lay members of LCI.
July 1973
Reverend John Moren begins his pastoral ministry at LCI.  Pastor Moren grew up on St. Paul, Minnesota and received his theological training at Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois, graduating in 1962.  He served six years developing a mission congregation in what is now Granite Bay, CA, and then served as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Inglewood, CA from 1968 to 1973.
January 6, 1974
Mrs. Ebba Johnson is ordained at LCI in a service presided over by Dr. Carl W. Segerhammar, president of the Pacific Southwest Synod.  The sermon is offered by Pastor Don Ranstrom.  Reverend Johnson is called to serve as Campus Pastor at the Cal Aggie Christian Association, where she had been working for the past three years.
Summer 1975
LCI sponsors two Vietnamese families seeking refuge in the United States.  The first family arrives in June, and soon relocates to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The second family arrives in August.
November 23, 1975
LCI celebrates its tenth anniversary.  Included in the festivities is a reception for LCI's founding pastor, Arthur Henry who returns to LCI for the anniversary.
September 6, 1987
LCI breaks ground for a new Fellowship Hall.
January 1, 1988
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is born as the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), American Lutheran Church (ALC), and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) merge into a single church body.
April 24, 1988
LCI dedicates its new Fellowship Hall.
June 1995
Pastor John Moren retires as pastor of LCI after 22 years of service.  His ministry here is guided by the belief that "The task of each one of us is to be open to the Word of God, which is proclaimed in a variety of ways, whether it's contained in the homily, one of the hymns, prayers or lessons of scripture - or contained in the life of a person.  Truth is of God alone.  All of us are seekers of truth." (quoted in the Davis Enterprise, May 26, 1995)
July 16, 1995
Pastor William S. Griffin takes over as Interim Pastor at LCI.  He received his theological training at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley.
November 10, 1996
Reverend William Wong is installed as the fourth Pastor of LCI.  Pastor Dave Mullen presided over the service, and Assistant to the Bishop, Charles F. Ruthroff gave the sermon.  Pastor Wong received his theological education at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, and was ordained on October 16, 1981.  He served as Pastor of churches in San Jose, CA and Tucson, AZ before being called to serve on the Commission for Multicultural Ministries of the ELCA in Chicago.
March 14, 1999
Reverend Margaret Reinhart is ordained at LCI.  The service is presided over by Bishop Robert Mattheis of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA, and the sermon is offered by Reinhart's father, Pastor Edwin Sohn.  Pastor Reinhart goes on to serve as Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Fresno.
October 31, 1999
After a long delay, LCI dedicates its recently completed organ, built by the Larson Organ Company of Marquette Kansas.  The organ was originally installed in August 1996, but was plagued by problems.  These are finally rectified and the organ, featuring 683 pipes in 11 ranks and 834 electronic voice generators, is finally playable.  The dedication service features a concert by the noted organist, David Deffner who plays a selection of Lutheran Chorales, J.S. Bach's Toccata & Fugue in D minor, Louis Vierne's "Berecuse," and Louis-Claude Daquin's "Le Coucou."
May 20, 2001
Pastor Jeff Irwin begins serving three months as Interim Pastor at LCI while Pastor Wong is on sabbatical.
July 1, 2003
William Wong resigns as Pastor of LCI in order to take a call as Assistant to the Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
August 4, 2003
Reverend Allen Dunn serves thirteen months as Interim Pastor at LCI.
September 26, 2004
Reverend Mark W. Holmerud is installed as LCI's fifth Pastor.  The installation service was presided over by Conference Dean, Reverend Kay Doyle, the preacher was Reverend AmyJo Mattheis, and the Assisting Minister was Reverend Peter Holmquist.  A graduate of San Diego State University and Luther Theological Seminary, Pastor Holmerud served 20 years as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Stockton, California before beginning his ministry here.
April 26, 2008
Reverend Mark W. Holmerud is elected Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA. He begins his term on July 1, 2008.
December 14, 2008
Reverend Stan K. Niemi begins serving as LCI's Interim Pastor.
February 27, 2010
Reverend Daniel R. Smith is installed as LCI's sixth Pastor. The service is presided over by Conference Dean, Reverend José Luis La Torre, who also preached.  Son of Dick Smith, long-time pastor of Davis Lutheran Church, Dan served most recently as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos, California.
June 1, 2012
Youth Leader and seminarian Kirsten Moore begins serving as Pastoral Intern at LCI. In addition to her Intern duties, she continues serving as Youth Leader.
January 26, 2014
LCI hosts a kickoff luncheon, inaugurating its participation and commitment to becoming a GreenFaith congregation to practice and promote environmental stewardship.
August 10, 2014
Youth Leader and former Pastoral Intern, Kirsten Marie Moore is ordained into the ministry of word and sacrament, and installed as Pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Linda, CA.  The service takes place at Calvary and is presided over by Mark Holmerud, former Pastor of LCI and current Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the ELCA.  The ordination sermon was offered by Pastor Steve Beckham who suggested, in reference to the story of Jesus' exhortation for the disciples to become fishers of people, that a pastor's role is not so much that of a fisherman, but rather as a pastor, Kirsten's role is to be the bait that draws others into relationship with Christ.
August 2014
Groundbreaking begins on LCI's facilities renovation project which significantly remodels the fellowship hall and creates a new narthex and entrance to the sanctuary.
November 30, 2014
LCI marked its Golden Anniversary as a congregation, serving as a beacon of Christ's light in Davis and the surrounding community for 50 years. Celebrations of this milestone will continue throughout this anniversary year.
September 26, 2015
LCI continued the celebration of its 50th anniversary with a catered dinner in our newly-renovated Fellowship Hall. All of LCI's current and former pastors were in attendance.

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