Mission Starts and Redevelopments

Jesus sends the earliest disciples out into the world with the charge, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This charge is the foundation for the work we do as a synod.

 

In collaboration with our partners from the ELCA, the Saint Paul Area Synod works to answer this call by listening to the Spirit and doing the work necessary to see where a new ministry or a redevelopment might make best sense. Currently, the synod has nine mission starts and strategic ministries with new explorations on the horizon. If you feel called to financially support these ministries, we welcome your designated gift on our donation page under the category of "Synod Support." (Enter your amount in the field of "Mission Support.")

Mission Starts

 

Cristo Rey

Developing out of Christ the King Lutheran (1900 7th St. NW. in New Brighton), Cristo Rey seeks to connect with the growing Latino population in the area. The congregation worships every Sunday at noon. Weekly Bible study on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. provides the foundation for this growing ministry. Ana Becerra serves as mission developer for Cristo Rey and can be reached at ana@lifeatctk.org or 763.225.7079.

 

Foundation of Life (African National Ministry)

This outreach to the Anuak community in Minnesota launched in 2017 in partnership with the Presbyterian Church USA. In addition to worship, Foundation of Life offers classes on leadership development and integration into U.S. culture. Its food distribution program has helped families since May of 2020. This community is working with Trinity Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater toward establishing partnerships for youth and women's ministries. Worship is at 11 a.m. on Sundays at New Life Presbyterian in Stillwater (6201 Osgood Ave. N.). For more information, contact the Rev. Gilo Gora Agwa at gilogagwa22@gmail.com.

 

Eternal Flame Hmong Lutheran Church (formerly Good Samaritan)

Good Samaritan Lutheran Church has been serving God’s people since 2010. The vision of Eternal Flame is for its members to strive to live out the fire of their faith that burns inside of them. As a Hmong congregation, we may come from different clans but at Eternal Flame and beyond our boundaries, we need to live out our call to love others no matter which clan they belong to or whoever they may be. We worship at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (3677 Centerville Rd. in Vadnais Heights) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We want to keep our unique culture and language alive for many generations to come in worship and fellowship in the Hmong community. All are welcome to join us in worship through Zoom. For more information, contact the Rev. William Siong at elcahmongmission@gmail.com.

 

New Hope

Hope Lutheran Church is a historic congregation on the East Side of St. Paul. During the past three years, the Rev. Andrew Tengwall has led them through a period of strategic ministry with the almost certain result of the end of Hope as a congregation. Members may move on to other congregations or become part of something new. With Pastor Tengwall becoming a fixture in the community, he has made huge in-roads with local leaders around systemic racism, inadequate education systems and more. As we look to the future and where God is leading us, the synod believes that is it imperative to have a congregation on the East Side of St. Paul that will grow into a multi-racial, multi-economic, fully inclusive congregation. The community around this ministry area is largely unchurched, multi-racial, working class, with pockets of poverty. Outside of a large non-denominational congregation and a few small ethnic ministries (including one of our Hmong mission starts) there are few congregations in this area willing to engage the community around them. This new ministry launched in January of 2022 because we feel called to create a new space, a new well, a place for these thirsty souls to find nourishment. A new start allows us to do that in creative, inviting, and faithful ways.

 

Humble Walk

Humble Walk organically sprung up in the alleyways and backyards of folks in the West 7th neighborhood of St. Paul. It's an intergenerational church that meets people where they are and invites them into relationship with one another and God. It's become a place where people come to heal from other church experiences. Humble Walk gathers weekly for worship on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Art House North (793 Armstrong Ave. in St. Paul) during non-pandemic times. This season, Humble Walk meets every Sunday on Facebook Live. Contact the Rev. Jodi Houge at 651.786.9028 or visit www.humblewalkchurch.org.

 

Minnesota Faith Chinese

As the only Chinese Lutheran church in the state, Minnesota Faith Chinese keeps its arms open for all Chinese who visit or move to Minnesota. Over 12,000 people heard the good news of Jesus the first time at the church worship services, Bible study groups, fellowships, retreats, gospel conferences, small group talks, one-on-one personal communication, daily Bible study email groups, funerals and weddings. No matter how short or long of a stay, many of them often tell us how much they love the church and our prayers. Some even started Bible study groups in other states or in China, with our support. The congregation boasts a choir and praise dance group, which is often invited by other communities to perform and share the gospel. Minnesota Faith Chinese has a strong mission partnership with Galilee Lutheran Church (145 N McCarrons Blvd. in Roseville), where the congregation gathers for worship and community.

 

Shobi's Table

Shobi's Table is a pay-as-you-can café on wheels.  We use a big blue food truck to serve from-scratch, delicious and nutritious meals to anyone and everyone who comes, no matter how much they can pay.  We are a Word and Service ministry of the ELCA that focuses on how the church comes alive around one table, where all have the same access to the fresh food that is God's love made tangible and real to all people.  We believe that working, serving and eating together is one big way of how God fills us in body and spirit.  Shobi's Table offers lunch from noon to 1 p.m. (or whenever food is gone) at these St. Paul locations:

  • Tuesdays at Christ on Capitol Hill (105 University Ave. W - kitty-corner from the State Capitol)
  • Thursdays at Faith Lutheran (499 Charles Ave. in the Frogtown Neighborhood)
  • Fridays at Allianz Field (Snelling & University)

 


 

Redevelopments

 

Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Christ the Servant Lutheran Church is committed to practical, hands-on service in the neighborhood. Its annual pumpkin patch fundraiser supporting local mission and youth service trips is how many recognize the church. Through strong partnerships with the city and community organizations, Christ the Servant has been influential and engaged in Vadnais Heights since its founding in 1965. It distributes bread to local residents weekly, provides space for community groups, serves the needs of its neighbors, and creates space for authentic worship and loving relationships. In 2013, the congregation considered closing due to financial concerns, membership decline and conflict. After an extended, intentional interim period, the church was approved for an ELCA redevelopment grant. Much progress has been made in healing and revitalizing the congregation relationally, spiritually and organizationally over the last several years of its Mission Redevelopment partnership with the ELCA and Saint Paul Area Synod. With God’s grace, synod partnerships, and a renewed mission to “Encounter God, Love One Another, and Reach the World,” Christ the Servant is well positioned to continue its journey of renewal. Worship is 9 a.m. on Sundays! Find out more at https://www.cslcvh.org/.

 

Lutheran Church of Peace

In 2017, after much prayer and discernment, Lutheran Church of Peace in Maplewood decided God wasn't done with it yet. With grants from the ELCA and the Saint Paul Area Synod, the congregation called a redevelopment pastor and began listening deeply to God and one another. Today its vision is to build "a brave community that includes the sure, and the searching, and the skeptical, spills outside the walls of the church, and shares the joy of Christ." Lutheran Church of Peace endeavors that its people are renewed by the Holy Spirit who is leading them into abundant joy, deeper connection with God, and a more truly shared partnership with the community around us. Currently worship is held at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays either on Zoom or in small church communities. Find out more at www.lcpeace.org or by contacting Pastor Liz Eide at pastorliz@lcpeace.org.