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We are looking for a Lutheran church which is also nice for small kids in the area of
Albany, Berkeley or El Cerrito. Thanks a lot
Seeking an ELCA Lutheran Church with an active Sunday School We have a 1 and 6 year old. We are trying to find a Lutheran church that is on the liberal side that has an active Sunday School for families with children. When I say liberal, I mean a congregation that accepts people of all lifestyles and has an open-mind about other philosophies. We live in Albany.
We belong to Resurrection Lutheran Church, which is in Oakland near the Grand Avenue side of Lake Merritt (just off the 580). It's diverse and progressive, and very involved in the community and the world. We have sister parishes in E. Oakland, as well as in Tanzania and El Salvador. I can't say enough about the pastor, Lucy Kolin, who is intelligent, articulate, and just very sincere as a person. She really has a gift in making scripture, Christian teaching, etc. vital and current to contemporary society.
It's not huge, though, and only has a handful of kids, so it might not be what you're looking for. It is, however, a great and caring community, and those kids who are coming up/have been raised in that church I think have been very nurtured spiritually. We decided, rather than looking for a placed based on the child factor, that we really liked Resurrection and felt right about building up their young congregation. And it's been great; our son is really loved by/important to many of the members, especially the older ones, who have watched him grow since birth. Stefanie
Re: ELCA Church
My family belongs to St. Francis Lutheran in SF (Market and Castro/Church -- also known as Our Lady of Safeway due to its proximity), which was kicked out several years ago and is the "poster child" for congregations that have told ELCA that we think they're wrong about calling 'out' pastors. (BTW, according to ELCA, if a pastor was ordained and THEN declared themselves gay, it's okay for them to keep on preachin'. Like I said, not progressive.) There are only a few kids at St Francis, and while it's a fabulous group of caring people, gay, straight, seniors, and 'other' (I'm not Lutheran, not religioius and I actually don't mind going) there are maybe 3-5 kids at Sunday School, which happens every other Sunday. check the website for more details. http://www.st-francis-lutheran.org/ . If you'd like your child to be doted on by the congregation, and a good organ and music are important, St Francis is without peer!
There is also a Lutheran church in El Cerrito, very near the high school, that has lots of families, including friends of ours, and they seemed like a very nice congregation. Happy church shopping! Ann
Re: Upbeat church with good gospel music
Try St. Paul Lutheran in Oakland. The music isn't always gospel, but it's good. I'm not sure what constitutes your experience of ''same ole,'' but St. Paul is a great mix of tradition and liberality. We do a good job of welcoming newcomers; the congregation has a good youth program, is justice-oriented, and has had seven babies born in the past year and a half. It's got a diversity of sexual orientation, age and economics, less so in race/ ethnicity. Worship is on Sunday mornings at 10 am; dinner and Christian education are on Wednesday nights beginning at six. I'm single, lesbian, mom to an 18-month old and have been at St. Paul for nearly ten years. I love it. Christine
To the person seeking an ELCA church, I hope you will visit St. Paul Lutheran in Oakland (on Excelsior, close to the Park Avenue exit off 580). I think you will find it fits well with what you are looking for. I became a member when I moved to Oakland in fall of 2000 and it has been a wonderful church home for me and my family. I have two children, an almost three-year-old girl and a three-month old boy. The congregation is small, but growing mostly through the addition of families with elementary school age or younger children. My children have not yet been in Sunday school, but I know the teachers and I believe we have a thriving program. And our church is welcoming to all -- we have old and young members, physically challenged members, members of different races and ethnic groups, gay and straight members, single members and families. Stephanie
Feel free to contact me for more info. B Avalon
Re: ELCA Lutheran Church
We are off-and-on members of University Lutheran Chapel (at Haste and College), and you ccouldn't find a more "liberal" church or congregation that is still Lutheran. The pastor is gay, the language of the liturgy is inclusive, there has been a big focus on social justice issues, particularly in the past (the pastor who retired a few years ago, Gus Schultz, was awarded the first Berkeley Peace Prize for work either in El Salvador or North Korea, or both, I forget). There are many young children there now, and Sunday school for 3 - 6 year-olds is just getting going again post-Christmas. There is childcare for infants and young toddlers offered in a newly remodeled nursery below the sanctuary. Feel free to contact me personally if you want to know more about the history of this church, approach to worship, etc. Pamela
Feel free to contact me for more info. B Avalon
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