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WELCOME TO SAINT PAUL!

Frequently Asked Questions

**Current COVID-19 Protocol**

We worship in-person, indoors, every Sunday at 9 AM. Masks are not required, but are strongly encouraged. Please do not attend worship or any in-person function if you are ill, or have been exposed to someone who is ill.

What should I wear?
Whatever keeps you comfortable. Really! You won't stick out if you're wearing a dress, or a suit and tie. You also won't stick out if you're wearing a t-shirt and jeans. There is no dress code, wear what makes you feel comfortable enough to be with other people, worshipping God together.

When should I arrive?
We recommend arriving at least five to ten minutes before worship begins (9 AM). That will give you a chance to make your way inside, grab a worship bulletin, and get settled in. The ramp from the parking lot leads to the front of the sanctuary.

How long should I plan to spend at St. Paul?
Worship typically lasts one hour. If you have the time and want to get to know some folks, after worship you're welcome to head downstairs to the church hall to enjoy coffee, snacks, and conversation.

Where should I park? Can I walk? Can I ride my bike?
The front of the church is visible from route 6, but the parking lot is behind the church. To access the parking lot, please turn off of route 6 onto Burnham Street. The church parking lot will be up the hill to the left. The church is also easily accessed by public transportation, bicycle, or foot!

Will my young children be welcome?
Yes! The body of Christ includes everyone, that means kids, too! Church isn't church without kid noises, reminding us that they are the church of the future. Two bathrooms (one with a changing table) are available on the lower level of the church, off of the church hall. If your little ones are chatty or squirmy and you are uncomfortable, feel free to walk around or do what is best for you and your child. Explain what's going on to them, and if you aren't sure how to explain, ask pastor after worship!

Is the building/worship accessible to people with physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or developmental differences?

The sanctuary is accessed from the parking lot by a ramp. Unfortunately, the office building and the lower level of the church building are only accessible by stairs. This also means that, unfortunately, there are no restrooms accessible to people who cannot use stairs. If you need assistance prior to, during, or after worship, please inform an usher or pastor and we will be happy to try and accommodate your needs.

 
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MISSION, VISION, & VALUES

Here you'll find out who we are, what we're all about, and how you can get involved. There is a place for everyone at Saint Paul! So, check us out, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the office to learn more! We're glad you're here!


To find out more about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the New England Synod, or Reconciling in Christ, please follow any of these links.


Mission:

Called to faith by the grace of God, we are nurtured in word and sacrament, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and bringing Christ to all.



Vision:
A world overflowing with God's forgiveness, mercy, and love.




Values:
God's grace is a free gift to us all, no strings attached, and we are called to share that gift with the world.


Jesus is the way. Our beginning point. We are followers of Christ, we are Christ's body in the world. God is always calling us back to the path of Jesus, the path of forgiveness, justice, compassion, inclusion, and love.


It all starts with repentance. We have been reconciled to God through Jesus, who atoned for our sin ("sin" just means all the ways we push God and our neighbor away). And because God loves us unconditionally and because we know that God loves us unconditionally, we must repent for the ways we have hurt and continue to hurt our neighbor if we are going to follow Jesus. You can't have forgiveness and reconciliation without repentance, first and foremost. We strive to be reconciled to the people we love, the people we don't really love, even the ones we can't really stand. That doesn't mean we are doormats, or that we accept abuse. It just means that when human bonds fail and break apart, our hearts (and our doors) remain open to renewed relationship.


Justice and compassion for God's people begins with us. There's no doubt the world is broken, that people hurt each other and hurt God, and the cycle of pain seems never-ending. But we do truly believe and testify to the fact that with God all things are possible, including justice for all. Which is why we strive to advocate for and serve our neighbor, to amplify the voices of the historically marginalized, as Jesus, quoting the Prophet Isaiah, said: "to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free" (Luke 4:18).


God's forgiveness, mercy, and love are for everyone. And everyone is called to preach, teach, proclaim, lead, and serve. Through Jesus, God offers a radical welcome to all people, appreciating our shared humanity and celebrating our differences. Diversity is not a barrier to unity, it is a blessing!


We challenge dynamics of power and privilege that restrict God's message of love, and joyfully welcome all to participate in God's ongoing story of hope. We welcome all to serve and share the good news of Jesus: women (Acts 16; John 4), people of color (Luke 10:25-37), minority ethnic groups (Galatians 3:28), people with disabilities (Gen 1:26), people who are marginalized or living in poverty (Mark 12:41-44), and the LGBTQIA community (Matt 8:5-13; Acts 8:26-40).


We are open to change. The good news of Jesus Christ is central to our tradition, not the other way around. Everything we do is guided by God's spirit. If our traditions aren't working to reveal God's unconditional love, then our traditions need to change. Five hundred years ago Martin Luther, the founder of our Lutheran tradition, radically changed the Christian tradition by sparking the Reformation. All things are being made new! (Isaiah 42:9; 2 Cor 5:17; Rev 21:5)

Unity in the Body of Christ. We are a church of individuals. We look and think and act differently. And yet we are called together by God to be one body, in ministry and mission. We are more effective when we work together (John 17:20–23). Love is the norm for our behavior (John 13:34; Romans 13:8), conflicts are resolved according to the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 18:15–17), and we seek to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).