St. Paul Lutheran Church

Oakland, CA

About St. Paul Lutheran Church

Saint Paul Lutheran Church of Oakland is one of the oldest Lutheran churches on the West Coast. Organized by a group of Swedish immigrants in January of 1887, the congregation has sought to serve both its immediate and wider community since that time. Committed to the rich liturgical and musical heritage of the Lutheran tradition, the congregation is equally committed to innovative and contemporary worship. Theologically the parish reflects the basic scriptural teaching of "by grace alone", i.e., the belief that our relationship with God and our salvation are entirely a gift from God, given independently of anything we are, do, or believe. Salvation is not something we work to achieve, but is rather a freely given gift from a loving God. Our call as people of God is to reflect that divine love and gift in our daily living and interaction with other people.

Like many urban churches, this community has struggled (and continues to struggle) with how to be the church in the city. We don't have all the answers, but we enjoy working together to discern them. Our membership stands at about 240 baptized members with an average Sunday attendance of 120 and median age of 39. An active music program includes: bell choir, adult chancel choir, JOYFUL NOISE! kids' choir, and a junior chancel choir for middle school youth. In addition, there are active ministries with women, a parish AIDS ministry Task Force(now the Fairmont Hospital Task Force), commitments to AIDS orphans in Tanzania and street children in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; local hunger programs. There is an active Christian education program for both youth and adults, including adult confirmation classes where participants are encouraged to discern what their own beliefs are.