What Does This Mean?

A very Lutheran question to continue a series of conversations about what it means to welcome, include, and belong as part of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

For years, we have been known as "the friendly church at the bend in the road."

We are superb at welcoming individuals and families when they join us for worship and participate in the ministries to which God has called us.

But God is calling us to something more: to look at how we include visitors and members and how we create a sense of belonging within our congregation.

Where Did This Idea Come From?

During the summer of 2020, members of the congregation participated in antiracism book studies on Dear Church by Rev. Lenny Duncan and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

In each of the discussion groups, we learned how many of our systems are set up to benefit white individuals, including our denomination, the ELCA.

We also learned that the ELCA has been engaging in this work on the national level since it was formed and has continued this work through today.

The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective (1991)

Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture (1993)

Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent (2019)

Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy (2020)

What Comes Next?

During our livestream worship on Sunday, October 18th, a representative from these book discussions shared some more about what these groups learned and the steps the Spirit is calling us to embark upon.

Some of the ideas already generated:

- Study the past ELCA Social Statements and Social Messages

- Partner and develop relationships with a traditionally non-white congregation

- Make the St. Paul Lutheran Church campus accessible to individuals with disabilities

- Dive deeper into prayer and study of scripture to discern where God is calling us

But these are not all of the options for how we can continue this work.

Your ideas are important, too!

Please fill out this form with your ideas!


Please fill out this form to ask questions & share feedback about this overall initiative.

We would love to talk with you!