St. Paul Lutheran Church
Archived Q&A and Reviews
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
I can highly recommend St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1658 Excelsior Avenue, Oakland, 530-6333. While I am personally no longer a member there (because I no longer identify as Christian), I remain on their mailing list and am in touch with the pastor, Ross Merkel. The congregation is very open, liberal, and community-like. Also, active Sunday School. Pretty much the only growing ELCA church in area. Lot's of diversity. Ross is gay and has been removed from the roster of the ELCA but the congregation retains him as their pastor. Pretty good racial diversity for a Lutheran church. Good music and liturgy. Tell Ross I say HI.
Feel free to contact me for more info. B Avalon