Message from the Pastor
Greetings in the name of Christ! Welcome to the website of River of Life Lutheran Church. Whether this is your first contact with the congregation or we have a long history together, this website tells you the truth: River of Life is quite a unique congregation.
River of Life is blessed to be a blessing to north Minneapolis, and the stewardship of our large building for the good of the community is very important to our identity. Our kitchen has become the major center of community service at 2200 Fremont Ave North, the only Loaves and Fishes site in north Minneapolis since 1983. You can find the stories of many other partnerships within our building under the tab labeled "In Our Building". New partnerships are emerging all the time, as we seek to be responsible with the gifts left to us by generations of the faithful, for ministry in North Minneapolis.
Our Sunday worship includes some elements you may not find at many other Lutheran churches in Minnesota, because of the unique blend of cultures here. We have members of Scandinavian-American stock, a large group of immigrants from West Africa, and folks who fit neither of those descriptions. That is why it is so important for us to have "Community Time" in the middle of the service, when worshippers can share whatever is on their hearts, from announcements to greetings to prayer requests. We listen to each others’ stories and share in each others’ lives; River of Life is a safe place to be vulnerable before your neighbor, so that you might actually learn and change because of their influence. We come together, and the Holy Spirit helps us to grow. We read the Scriptures together, praise God together, and listen together for God’s will. Nobody said it would be easy. But this is a way the members of River of Life have committed to live, challenging themselves to love their neighbor across cultures, in the same pew.
The Lutheran theology of grace (God loves us first – Jesus Christ reveals that - declaring us God’s children even when we are unworthy) is much-needed by all of us, but we hear it in different ways. Therefore flexibility is the key at River of Life, truly listening to people whose spiritual needs may be completely different from your own. It may take several repetitions to understand one another’s accent or point of view, but God also supplies the patience and forgiveness for our misunderstandings.
Pastor Lee Ann M. Pomrenke