What To Expect at First Lutheran Church
We like to brag; this is a perfect church. Perfect for those who are hurting, desperate, lost, and sinful. This is a perfect church for those who struggle with shame, guilt, grief, and remorse. This is a perfect church for those seeking a community and family that will walk beside and support them as they live out their lives in this chaotic world. This is a perfect church for you because you will find that everyone else here struggles daily and has needs only God can meet. We believe this is a perfect church because this is where God’s perfect love in Christ has touched the completely imperfect lives of His children for over 100 years and continues to do just that every day.
Church can be about a lot of things in today’s day and age. It can be a collection of politically likeminded individuals, a group of social activists, an elite clique that passes judgment on others, or an organization that really does not stand for anything. We strive to be different. We strive to be defined as a people who intentionally share the love of Jesus. We do this by looking at each other and those in our community as our “neighbors” and treat them as such as we are directed by our Lord in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:26-37). Here we want to reclaim the word “neighbor” to mean much more than the stranger that lives next to you. We want the word “neighbor” to be one associated with community members demonstrating empathy, compassion, mercy, love and service to others. In short, a place where strangers become neighbors as they share in the love of Christ.
You will hear a lot about how we reach out as neighbors, unite as neighbors, and thrive as neighbors. In fact, the whole ministry of First Lutheran is seen through the lenses of “reaching,” “uniting,” and “thriving.” Reaching out as neighbors is seen in our various ministries aimed at connecting with the community of Grand Rapids, the State of Minnesota, and the world. Uniting as neighbors is seen in how we come together and enjoy the company of the body of believers found here. Simply put, it is seen in how we share in each other’s burdens and at other times have fun together. Thriving as neighbors is seen in how we grow as Christ disciples together, living out our faith. We thrive as neighbors when we experience our faith transforming our lives.
So welcome! Welcome to the perfect place where you can be you, perfectly broken and perfectly healed in Christ. Glance through this packet and explore the many opportunities to serve the Kingdom as fellow neighbors of the faith. Feel free at any time to offer suggestions on how we can improve showing the perfect love of Christ. Let me know if you have any questions and always feel free to swing in and say hi to me, your neighbor and servant in Christ.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in HIm should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. . . For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:9, 13
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. Matthew 28:19
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16