|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|