What we believe
"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all."
St. Paul-Reformation's mission statement declares that we are "...centered in Christ." Bearing that in mind, we are called to proclaim the healing grace and love of God in Christ Jesus to our city, our community, and our world. We do this chiefly by encountering Jesus on Sundays in Word and Sacrament. From there, we take God's love out into our daily lives and into the world, working for justice, peace, and compassion.
St. Paul-Reformation is first of all a Christian community that is rooted in the original community of the Holy Trinity. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that he came into our world to bear God's creative and redeeming love to us. Because we are Lutheran Christians, we also believe that nothing that we do can earn this love: it comes to us out of grace alone. We take the Bible so seriously that we recognize that it speaks differently in different circumstances, and - as a text by many different authors - its authority is because it holds Christ; it is not a "how-to" manual, but rather an account of God's great love for all and a tool that points to Jesus.
Lutherans stand in the historic catholic (small "c") faith; that is, we believe that we are part of the larger Christian Church that has existed since the time of the New Testament. We believe in the historic Creeds of the Church, and look for ways for that confession to be lived out in contemporary ways. We hold this catholicity in tension: responsibility to changing circumstances and also a serious responsibility to the tradition of the Church.
St. Paul-Reformation is a member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest body of Lutherans in the United States. You can learn more about the ELCA and what we believe by clicking here.
We are also a member of the St. Paul-Area Synod of the ELCA, which you can learn more about by clicking here.
WHAT ARE LUTHERANS?
Lutheran Christians trace their heritage to the Lutheran Reformation in Germany. Begun by Augustinian monk Martin Luther (from whence our name comes...but he wouldn't have been so terribly happy about that. Said Luther: "Why do they call themselves Lutherans? I did not die for anyone!"). Luther protested the abuses of the medieval Church and emphasized that we are saved by grace alone. That is, we do not have to be "good enough" for God to love us. God simply does love us already out of grace and nothing we can do can earn that love or undo it. In 2017, Lutherans around the world celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, a "...reform movement within the larger Church." We do not, however, have a market on God's grace or think that we alone are right. We welcome and celebrate the gifts of our Christian brothers and sisters in other traditions and are constantly seeking ways to further conversations around Christian unity. Lutherans have historically had a very strong emphasis on education, music, and social action. We also like beer and hymns (we basically invented both...).