|SAINT PAUL'S LUTHERAN CHURCH|
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR MISSION
Training youth in job & leadership skills
Youth long to be productive and work for a better community. Lorena, a young woman of Mexican descent has a real talent for art and for gathering people to work together. Needing to overcome her shyness and familial struglles, being a part of Young Leaders has helped her stand in front of groups and talk, arrive early for work days and speak with police inspectors, business owners and city councilpersons.
MUJERES DE LA PALABRA
Immigrant Women Building Skills
Most people probably don’t first come into a church building through sewing, but Virginia did. She was attracted by the sewing classes that St. Paul’s began to offer in 2007. Soon, she was teaching young people how to sew, as well asbecoming involved in the life of the church and the community. She reads lessons in worship, helps plan neighborhood events, and invites family and friends to join her.
Together, Mujeres de la Palabra learned how to market their skills and bid on jobs. For the 2009 ELCA Assembly, the Women of the Word won the contract to sew 400 vests for volunteers. The pride in their work, and the opportunity to connect with people around the country helped the women grow and gain confidence in their abilities to pursue sewing businesses in their communities.
ST. PAUL'S APARTMENTS
Providing low-cost housing to seniors
Evy and Wil are madly in love. They were married 3 years ago, in a beautiful church wedding. Evy has been a member of St. Paul’s for decades. Wil was baptized just short of his 87th birthday. They met because of St. Paul’s Home, Inc. the housing arm of St. Paul’s church. St. Paul’s Home provides 53 units of low-cost apartments for senior citizens, and is another anchor in our diverse, growing community.
Making our community greener, safer and more beautiful through our public art and gardening program
Kaplan Brothers has been known for decades as a great place to buy work clothes and winter gear. Its building, two blocks from St. Paul’s, has also been known as one of the most targeted for graffiti. Starting in 2008, youth from St. Paul’s have painted murals and planted flowers around thebusiness. Even after the mural was defaced, the youth did not give up, but repaired the mural and painted another one. In three years, we have painted eight othermurals in alleys, as well as planting trees and flowers, and encouraging neighbors to work together for change.
Our “Semilla” project is building artistic and community development skills in our neighborhood. Semilla means “seed” in Spanish, and our Artists-in-Residence have been teaching mosaic and mural arts to senior citizens at St. Paul’s Home, school children at Andersen Elementary and families through workshops in four locations in the neighborhood. Thanks to a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, we are able to work with the community on public art that beautifies and unites the community.
ENVIRONMENT & EXERCISE PROGRAM
Building community health through parish nurse
Our parish nurse, Marie has touched many lives. By visiting shut-ins, she has brought her company, health expertise and love into homes where she may be one of the only visitors. At St. Paul’s Home, where Marie visits twice a month doing blood pressure checks, she has encouraged the residents to communicate, get know each other and build community within St. Paul’s home while she attends to their healthneeds. She prays and studies the Bible with them. Many of those who she visits are unable to attend church and Marie is able to provide the fellowship they need. Marie has been able to provide comfort and company to members who are ill in the hospital. She is an advocate for them and their families and she helps them understand their health needs and the care they receive. She brings the loving community of St. Paul’s church to those who can’t come to the building.
Andrea: Long-time Council Member
Andrea grew up in South Minneapolis, in an area where gangs, drugs, prostitution and crime were a part of her community. Many of her friends, classmates, and acquaintances were involved in those activities. Her parents were members of St. Paul’s and although it was sometimes forced, Andrea attended church on Sunday and participated in several youth programs throughout the week (and brought her friends). Now an adult, she credits St. Paul’s, its members, it’s commitment to the community and its commitment to her spiritual growth that helped spare her from the violence and destruction that affected so many of her young friends. Andrea now attends St. Paul’s with her husband and children, teaches Sunday School, and has served on the church council. She hopes the church will continue to serve its community by providing a safe place where youth can go to learn about thelove, peace and joy that comes with a relationship with Christ.
Nick: From Addition to Church Leadership
Nick attended St. Paul’s as a young boy and teen and recalls learning about Jesus’ love for us. As a teenager and young adult he was involved in crime and drug use and struggled for many years. As he “hit bottom” he was reminded of Jesus’ unfailing love for him, a lesson learned at Sunday School, and knew it was time for him to “come back to Jesus”. Nick has recommitted himself to Christ’s service. He has been sober for 3 years, is active as a youth pastor at a local church and is studying to become a Lutheran Minister. He will never forget the lessons he learned as a child at St. Paul’s, lessons that stuck with him throughout his trials and helped bring him back to Jesus.
Selena the Star
Selena was bounced from foster home to foster home until a friend of the family took her in. She began to come to St. Paul’s summer program and Kid’s Club and was a challenge for the adults who work with the program. Selena could not sit still for very long, and at other times, sat by herself with a sad look on her face. St. Paul’s has supported her guardian in the raising of Selena, and provided a safe and welcoming place where Selena’s creative gifts can be used. She is blossoming into a star: a literal start in four straight years of “La Natividad”, our Christmas production with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater and El Mercado Central, and a star in terms of hope.