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Looking For Christian Public Leader? Teaching Congregations transitioned to Christian Public Leader at the end of the 2013 – 2014 academic year. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at

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Important Note

The Site List below is for the Teaching Congregations program. In 2014 - 2015, Teaching Congregations will be offered only to students completing their graduation requirements as per the distributive curriculum. This will remain a non-credit degree requirement. Students and supervisors should be in touch with Contextual Learning at prior to contacting sites on this list.

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Trinity Lutheran Congregation

Address:2001 Riverside Avenue
Baptized Membership:200
Confirmed Membership:150
Average Sunday Attendance:65
Paid Staff:Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor (part-time), Secretary (part-time), Musician (part-time), Nurse (part-time), Intern (part-time), Lutheran Volunteer Corps (Full-time)
Access to Public Transit:City Bus
Light Rail
Congregation Description:Trinity Lutheran Congregation has been in the Cedar-Riverside (C-R) neighborhood of Minneapolis since 1868. C-R has always been a first stop for immigrants arriving in the United States. At this time in history the immigrants come primarily from East Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea), but there are also immigrants from Asia. Because we are also on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota and 2 blocks from Augsburg College many of the people living, studying and working in C-R are students and staff from those institutions. The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview campus is also in C-R, making this a very unique neighborhood of immigrants, long-time residents, and institutions. To better reflect the population of C-R, in 2004 Trinity called an Ethiopian as an Associate Pastor.

Trinity's church building was razed in 1968 to make way for I-94. Remaining committed to C-R, Trinity has worshiped in a variety of places in the neighborhood. When Augsburg College built their Chapel Trinity was invited to worship there and we have worshiped there ever since. Our offices are a 2001 Riverside, 2 blocks West of Augsburg College. Our school-year Sunday worship schedule is: a 9:00 am informal setting; 9:45 am Education Hour; 11:00 am worship with weekly Communion. At the 11:00 am service we worship together in 3 languages, reflecting our membership - English, Amharic (the main language of Ethiopia, and Tigrigna (the main language of Eritrea). We follow the order of ELW but adapt as needed to incorporate the languages and cultures in our midst.

Education Hour includes Sunday School for pre-school through 12th grade and Adult Forum.

Trinity is the only surviving Christian congregation in this neighborhood of 7,500-10,000 residents. Our mission statement is: Nurturing wholeness - and holiness - in Cedar-Riverside. Trinity seeks to be Christ's presence in C-R, accompanying the people of the community in their life journeys. We do that in a number of ways: a daily Homework Help program for neighborhood children, youth, and young adults; a Wednesday Night Supper every week for neighborhood moms and kids; a summer program for neighborhood youth; support of the neighborhood's food shelf and activities. Our space is available for neighborhood meetings and on Saturdays an Amharic class uses our space. Members and staff are active in a number of community committees. In the last year we have begun building relationships with the mosques in C-R. This has included Pastor Jane meeting regularly with the imams and a summer interfaith youth event.

Urban ministry always includes transitions and challenges. The ELCA sexuality votes of 2009 have affected Trinity. Before our immigrant members were a part of Trinity the congregation became Reconciling in Christ. Our Ethiopian members strongly disagree with that stand. Some Ethiopians have left because of this; others remain, knowing they have been welcomed and loved by Trinity, but still unable to agree with the ELCA's votes. How this will all shape itself in the future is impossible to predict.

Finances are always an issue. Trinity is very cost-effective, but the needs of the neighborhood are never-ending. Trying to balance all of that is a challenge.

Also, being a multi-cultural congregation with members on every end of every spectrum - theology, piety, income level, education level, politics, to name a few - is challenging. We are learning as we go.
Congregation Keywords:multi-cultural, urban, neighborhood involvement, accompaniment, cutting-edge, collaborative, cost-effective, small, vital, walking the walk, justice, relationships, complicated

Mentor Pastor: Jane Buckley-Farlee
Years in Ordained Ministry:31
Years in Current Position:15
Previous Students Supervised:9
Autobiography:I grew up in the Missouri Synod and went through the Missouri Synod college "system" - Junior College and Senior College. In I graduated from Christ Seminary-Seminex, the Missouri Synod seminary that walked out of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in protest in 1974. Being a part of the Seminex community immediately following that event has shaped me and my theology since then. The students and faculty of Seminex took the radical-ness of the Gospel seriously. I do as well.

I am Sr. Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Congregation in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. Trinity is the "church without walls" doing God's work in a fascinating community. I love Trinity's Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and the fascinating outreach that Trinity is involved in and considers for the future.

My role as Sr. Pastor is simple and complicated. The best analogy might be that with Trinity as a sailboat. At times the Spirit/wind blows with gale forces. Other times it is calm. The direction which the Spirit blows changes. As Sr. Pastor I sit at the tiller, not in control, but guiding as much as possible, listening. That includes listening to God, to each other as members of Trinity, and to our neighborhood and then reflecting on what we all are hearing. Then we discern our ministry from what we have heard. It is not neat and it is not predictable. But it is the way to best serve God and our neighbors. Another major aspect of my role is that of a non-anxious presence. Things in Cedar-Riverside and at Trinity can be rather chaotic. A non-anxious appearing leader is helpful.

I enjoy reading, trying to alternate educational books with fiction of all kinds. The Christian Century and Utne Reader are the magazines I enjoy. For continuing education I attend the Liturgical Institute at Valporaiso University each year and other workshops that pertain to Trinity. I also include regular monthly meetings with a Spiritual Director as an invaluable, although somewhat unconventional part of continuing education.

I am involved in the community in a variety of ways. I attend monthly meeting of the West Bank Business Association and the West Bank Community Coalition. Imam Mohamed and Imam Mohamud and I try to meet regularly to become a united voice of the faith communities in C-R. I attend the Wedneday Night Suppers and other neighborhood events and meetings as they come up.

My interests and hobbies include: reading, walking, biking, and traveling.