PEOPLE ASK US
Who worships at St. Paul's?
All are welcome. Believers, doubters, questioners, the curious, long-time Lutherans. We are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). In addition, we are a Reconciling in Christ congregation. We welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, transgender, and intersex people.
How do we worship?
Our service has a regularly repeating structure with Holy Communion weekly and follows the seasons of the larger Church. Ancient patterns and rhythms of worship allow us to experience the sacred, create a space for reflection, and offer solace. We hear scripture, embrace silence, confess and pray, lift our voices in psalm and song. We extend an open invitation to all during Holy Communion. Gluten free bread, grape juice, wine and an individual blessing are available each week.
What if I am unfamiliar with your liturgy?
No worries. When you enter our sanctuary, you will receive a program that guides you through the service. Your questions are always welcome. Feel free to ask the person next to you or an usher.
Do children worship with you?
Yes. Infants and children are a valued part of our community. It's perfectly okay for babies to cry and toddlers to squirm. Our sanctuary has a large area with rocking chairs, quiet toys, and play mats. Younger children are invited to come forward before the sermon for a short, age-appropriate message. They skip up the aisle for their special time. Older children and youth often participate as worship assistants.
What kind of music will I hear?
Music is at the heart of our worship. Our music program is led by Dr. Kurt Westerberg. Our music tends toward the classical and traditional. Anyone can join our choir, which is led by trained vocalists. Most services feature both the pipe organ and the piano, along with a classical instrument -- cello, violin, oboe, clarinet, and the occasional trumpet. You'll hear a mix of the contemplative and the exuberant, depending on the Sunday and the season.
What do people wear?
It depends on the individual. Some folks prefer to dress for church. Others prefer to wear jeans. You'll see everything in between. Wear what feels comfortable and right to you. Our sanctuary can get warm during the summer, so we dress to stay cool.
Where are you and where do I park?
We are in the center of Evanston and are accessible by walking as well as public transportation: We are three blocks south and one block west of the Davis Street Metra station and two blocks west of the Dempster Street CTA El station. Bicyclists can leave bikes at our rack by the Maple Street entrance. If you drive, there is on-street parking or use the police station parking lot at the SE corner of Maple and Lake on Sunday mornings.
I use a wheelchair, are you accessible?
We welcome everyone. St. Paul's building has two accessible bathrooms on the ground and first floor, a lift connecting the two floors, ramps to both the Greenwood and Maple entrances, and a space among the pews for those with mobility aids.
Can you tell me more about the Black Lives Matter sign on your lawn?
St. Paul's engaged in a process of careful discernment about how we are called to respond to racial inequality and injustice in our society. After careful consideration and conversations with congregation members and Evanston law enforcement, our Council has elected to post a "Black Lives Matter" sign. In posting this sign, we affirm our respect for the value and dignity of the lives of black people. While not endorsing every action or position taken under the Black Lives Matter banner, and while not intending any disrespect for law enforcement professionals with whom our church has long enjoyed a warm and mutually respectful relationship, we are compelled to announce our opposition to racial injustice wherever it appears and to affirm the value of black lives in the face of their particular vulnerability to oppression and harm.