Grace Lutheran Church Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles

Our Mission Statement
Through God's Abundant Love, We Live and Work to Serve Others

Grace Lutheran Church
Guiding Principles Revised
January 2014

Guiding principles are important for a congregation because they are a basic statement of who we are and why we do what we do. As a declaration of identity, guiding principles direct the mission and ministry of the congregation as we seek to be faithful to God’s call on our lives.

Preamble: We are a community of faith…
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2.9)
Grace Lutheran Church is a community called by the Holy Spirit to serve God’s mission to love and bless the world. We do this from a location in the city center area of Mankato, MN, but we reach out to our region, state, and the world.

Gathering in God’s Love
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18.20)
Worship or service, fellowship or meals, we value coming together, just as much as the purpose of the gathering itself. The importance of gathering is shown in many ways, but particularly at the Lord’s Table, celebrated at every worship service where all of the baptized are welcome.

Celebrating God’s Presence through Life Events
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6.3-4)
When we gather we also celebrate what God has done and is doing in, with, and through us as God’s people. We do this by recognizing the milestones on our faith journey: baptisms, first communions, Confirmations, high school graduations, weddings, funerals, and other ways Jesus Christ touches our lives. This celebration comes even through hardship and difficult times as we recognize the new life that can come in the midst of death. We give praise and thanksgiving to a God who calls us forward to new mission opportunities.

Caring for God’s People
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25.40)
As Jesus cared for “the least of these,” so we seek to minister to the vulnerable and marginalized in our society. We serve with our time, talents, and money through organizations such as Lutheran Social Service, Pathstone Living, Salvation Army, ECHO Food Shelf, Habitat for Humanity, Mankato Area Fair Trade Towns Initiative, VINE Faith in Action, Global Eye Mission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, and Partners for Affordable Housing. We also support the work of the larger church through the Southeastern Minnesota Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Deeply Rooted
“For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you.” (1 Corinthians 11.23)
Having recently celebrated our 125th anniversary, we rejoice in God’s faithfulness as we claim our Augustana Lutheran (Swedish) heritage, a predecessor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are steeped in a biblical and theological tradition that not only connects us to historical Christianity, it also enables us to explore ways the Holy Spirit may be moving. As such, we are passionately ecumenical, embracing brothers and sisters of Christ in a variety of expressions. Our rootedness also frees us to address our changing context with new styles of worship and ministry.

Valuing Life-long Learning
“We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1.3)
Following Jesus Christ puts us on a journey of growing in faith toward God and love toward others, a journey that begins in baptism and doesn’t end until our passing from this life to the next. We support continual faith formation and are committed to developing ministry that supports families of all kinds, including intergenerational experiences. We will continue to embrace our new Wednesday night Faith Night and Sunday morning programming with the necessary resources to “make disciples” of Jesus Christ who are able to live out their vocations in daily life.