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[SITE FULL] Cross Lutheran Church

Address:1945 Prosperity Rd
Baptized Membership:330
Confirmed Membership:275
Average Sunday Attendance:95
Paid Staff:Pastor Bob Preuss, Associate Pastor Amy Oslund (pt), Secretary Carol Hastings (pt), Director of Music Leah Bergman (pt), Organist JoEllen Kloehn (pt), Janitor Laura Munson
Access to Public Transit:bus
Congregation Description:Cross Lutheran Church is a fairly small congregation where personal relationships are highly valued. So is preaching, education, and pastoral care. Our worship is traditional 42 Sundays a year, with an alternative service on the other 10. We have midweek services in both Advent and Lent, and we worship on Ascension Day as well as Thanksgiving Day. For a congregation our size we sing pretty well. We believe that it is critical for us to be partners in ministry, rather than consumers of religious services. Our struggle is with the fact that we no longer live in a culture of obligation, to quote my friend Rolf Jacobson; and so we have discussed whether we should dumb down our ministries to make them more attractive, or whether we should continue to focus on what is important and critical for a life of discipleship to which we are called by the Lord who lived, died, and was raised from the dead for us all. I'm pleased to say that we agree on the importance of the latter rather than the former approach. We rent space to 2 Hispanic congregations, and I hope will be doing more in partnership with them in the next couple of years. I have already mentioned what I hope will be happening in our partnership with John Glenn Middle School. In addition we feed the hungry at the Ramsey County Homeless Shelter, send groups to Second Harvest and Feed My Starving Children, make servant trips with our youth group every other summer, collect food for the food shelf and Jet Fuel Packs, and clothes for Joseph's Coat. We regularly provide Xmas presents for 8-10 families in the area as well. A few years ago we created one of the first, and certainly the largest, rain garden in the Washington/Ramsey Counties Watershed District, and have been asked to advocate with other congregations regarding the cause of clean water.
Congregation Keywords:Cross Lutheran Church is for the most part people who are the salt of the earth with little or no pretense. We try to take seriously the love of Christ for us and for all those made in God's image. We're located in an inner ring suburb on the East Side of St. Paul.

Mentor Pastor: Robert Preuss

Years in Ordained Ministry:34
Years in Current Position:24
Previous Students Supervised:3 contextual ed students, 4 interns
Autobiography:A Theologian of the Cross calls a thing what it is. That is my calling. The most important aspects of my ministry are preaching, teaching, and pastoral care. With ten years at Saint Anthony Park Lutheran Church as an associate pastor, and 24 years with Cross Lutheran Church, I know what it is to minister over the long haul, and to get to know people. I take continuing education seriously, and almost always have a theological book that I am working on (NT Wright, Brueggemann, Harrisville, Forde, and Koester are my favorites), as well as something I am reading for "pleasure" (typically good fiction or biography). I like to garden, and I referee basketball. I also work most spring and summer Saturdays at a horse farm in River Falls, WI. I spend one or two weeks each summer fishing in Canada, and I've spent over 150 days in the BWCA over the course of my life. I have been married to Michele Simon for 34 years, and we have a 25 year old daughter who lives in Raleigh, NC. Most days I stop to see my Dad, who has dementia and lives in an assisted living facility near the church. I also serve on the Synod Candidacy Committee, and am on what I think is my 3rd term. I am excited about our prospects of adding a new mentoring/tutoring ministry with some of the students at John Glenn Middle School, who are also a part of the Jet Fuel Pack program in which our congregation is very involved. I have served on the Board of Lutheran Braille Evangelism for more than a decade, including as their VP and President.