"St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mannheim, is a Christian community where people encounter, experience, celebrate, share, and proclaim the grace of God." We invite you to join us in discovering God's presence on our lives, in rejoicing in the fresh start that God gives us in Jesus and in growing in our relationships with God, one another, and our world. Together, in our Christian community, we worship God by prayer, listening to and being challenged by God's Word and celebrating the sacraments. We learn about God and faith by studying the Bible and discussing our insights together. We care for one another in response to God's caring and love for us.
A Church in Mission for Others
Our Eastern Synod has adopted the following vision for mission in our congregations and communities:
ďThe gospel calls the church to be in mission for others, not for ourselves. Recognizing this, we of the Eastern Synod intend to design and implement mission plans based on the gospelís call to meet the needs of others. We will encourage congregations to engage in a similar programme of mission planning and evaluation. We will likewise encourage our members to more fully claim their daily vocations as being avenues for ministry within the wider community.
1. We will strive to be a synod that is passionate about our relationship with God, in Christ.
As a synod, we will encourage one another to be diligent in studying and living out Godís word, sharing our faith with others and seeking new ways and opportunities to worship and pray with one another. We will encourage and equip our congregations to bring renewed energy and passion to their services of worship and proclamation of the Word.
2. We will strive to be a synod that nurtures leaders who encourage and equip other leaders.
Challenges are evident in all expressions of the churchís life. To be effective, our synodís ministries need to identify, call, mentor, and equip the leadership we require to meet these challenges. Moreover, we ought to take seriously the Priesthood of all Believers and the role of the laity in our churchís life. To this end, our synod needs to take greater responsibility for providing training that is appropriate to our tasks.
3. We will strive to be a synod that works in partnership with others.
As a mission focused synod, we will work to strengthen our existing partnerships and develop new ones within and beyond our synod. This includes partnerships with congregations, conferences, other synods, the ELCIC, as well as ecumenical, interfaith and community organizations.
4. We will strive to be a synod that reflects the diversity of our society.
We recognize that our synodís congregational membership does not always reflect the demographics of the communities in which we live. We commit ourselves to be proactive in reaching out to our communities, inviting all people to be involved in the worship, work and service life of our congregations and the Synod.
5. We will strive to be a synod that is generous.
As a generous synod, we will faithfully share our resources of time, talent and treasure in partnership with the ELCIC, our Companion Synod the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana and other partner churches. We will strive to allocate resources in ways that provide evidence of our commitment to being in mission for others. We will encourage our congregations and general membership to become more generous in sharing their resources both with and beyond the synod.
6. We will strive to be a synod that is engaged by challenging questions.
As a synod we will promote a spirit of reflective and respectful deliberation on significant questions of life and faith. We will regularly and critically evaluate the programmes and structures of the synod to assess their relevance to those questions. Although the engagement of these questions might change us, we will faithfully explore them and modify our mission in light of them.Ē
The Lutheran Church believes that God joined humanity in a unique way some 2000 years ago in Jesus of Nazareth, whose life, death and resurrection from the dead teach us:
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