Mission and Goals
The Mission of St. Francis Lutheran Church
The people of St. Francis Lutheran Church, who once stood apart, now stand with the wider church to proclaim God’s gift of salvation to all.
Grounded in the Gospel, we are a grateful people living our faith through God’s grace, welcoming all who seek sanctuary and spiritual nourishment.
Heeding Jesus’ mission to serve the least of us, we seek justice and spiritual peace for those who are without voice.
As members of the priesthood we all share in Christ, we make evident the Holy Spirit within us through teaching, healing and service.
Celebrating God’s presence in our lives, our worship reflects our traditions as well as our commitment to all-encompassing language and our lives in the 21st Century.
We embrace the liturgy as the work of the people and participate in the planning, as well as worship.
As children of God, we live in forgiveness, claim our wholeness and share God’s peace.
Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo gloria
The five pillars of Lutheran Doctrine
(Germinated in 1517, transplanted to San Francisco in 1905 and still growing today)
The Goals of St. Francis Lutheran Church
Strengths to build on
- Maintain traditional liturgy that is inclusive, with rich music and significant lay member involvement in planning and worship.
- Continue our commitment to formal, high-church services, including seasonal changes to the liturgy.
- Occasionally, for example during ordinary time, employ different settings for the mass, such as jazz or gospel settings, or a Latin mass.
- Expand music meditation masses as additional worship services designed with outreach as the primary focus.
- Organize congregational discussions about liturgy issues, for example, language, creed, and music.
- Support and improve the worship experience through a variety of actions, such as:
- Continue the “bring-your-calendar” Sundays.
- Offer training workshops for worship participants.
- Find creative ways to use the new worship books.
- Add commentary and rubrics to the Sunday bulletin.
- Include an affirmation about our approach to the interpretation of scripture in the Sunday bulletin.
- Include an affirmation in the weekly worship bulletin that describes our approach to the interpretation of scripture.
- Add commentary or rubrics in the margin of our worship booklet that amplify and explain various parts of the liturgy.
- Seek effective ways to collaborate with others to achieve justice, both within the church and in our neighborhood/ greater community.
- Reach out to community leaders at the LGBT Community Center and local public schools to address greatest perceived needs.
- Work on community health and hunger initiatives.
- Seek ways to collaborate on gender equity issues.
- Continue our commitment to the Friends of St. Francis Childcare Center.
Notes on the resources available to carry out these strategies:
- Hospitality Hour is an ongoing program that deserves our continued support.
- Endowment grants might be used to support new events or tactics in alignment with these strategies.
- Church building and grounds might be used to host any special events.
Repairing our congregational life
- Foster connection and trust, welcoming and embracing all who come to St. Francis.
- Partner with the pastor in outreach to visitors and members by following up with post cards, notes, and, then, if necessary, calls.
- Create social gatherings that all members, visitors and friends are invited to attend such as new member brunches, Easter brunch, potlucks, BBQs, monthly open houses, bowling and outings to the Symphony or Gay Men’s Chorus, etc.
- Clarify for ourselves what the role of the pastor is so that we embrace and support our settled pastor’s ministry among us.
Mission to our communities
- Enlarge our St. Francis ministry to both individuals and communities in need, grounded in our spirit of fairness and justice.
- Establish an ongoing, active pulpit exchange.
- Establish a week night adult Bible study group and contact Contemplative Outreach, Ltd., to run Centering Prayer workshop at St. Francis.
- Foster a relationship with the Most Holy Redeemer (MHR) congregation by inviting them to joint vespers, i.e., Taizé service. Invite MHR members to our social events for fellowship and support during their struggles with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy.
- Organize joint social events with other communities of faith and community organizations.
- Make the “Pink Saturday” music celebration during Pride Week an annual event.
- Expand our community meals ministry beyond Sunday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Thanksgiving, i.e., former Community Night.
- Target neighborhood inhabitants of new housing units currently under construction in the Upper Market/Castro area for outreach.
- Build on our historical strength of creating inclusive and transformative ministry.
- Strengthen adult Christian re-education to better understand and articulate the biblical/gospel message for today.
- Invite outside religious speakers for preaching and leading bible studies
- Take on controversial social and theological issues in a faithful and maybe provocative way, seeing relevance to modern life, such as drug policy/legalization and immigration policy/sanctuary movement.
- Call a settled pastor who will challenge us through education and proclamation.
- Engage the entire congregation in discerning and implementing new transformative ministry programs and activities.
- Enhance support for our existing ministries, ELCA candidacy and missionary programs. Examples include:
- Inclusive and Affirming Ministries in South Africa
- Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
- The Welcome Ministry
- The San Francisco Night Ministry
- Lutheran Volunteer Corps
- Seminarians and candidates for ordination from St. Francis
- Become an internship or teaching parish site at some time in the future, and be willing to consider candidates who are other-than-Lutheran.
Aspirations for the next four years
- Create a spiritually nourishing faith community.
- Recognize and provide for “spiritual nourishment” in a variety of ways. Examples of this include:
- Hold Community Night
- Institute more Faith and Life groups
- Remind participants of the spiritual value/purpose of what they are doing. Examples of this include:
- Begin and end each meeting with a devotion, prayer or meditation.
- Conclude each event with a query of, “Where was God present in process?”
- Define and develop spiritual monitoring techniques for self and others.
- Through broad support and engagement, unite with the settled pastor in our ministry together.
- Thrive in our ministry and increase our witness of faith – made visible to the greater community by actions – for example, increase our engagement with neighborhood organizations such as Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association or organizations such as Maitri.
- Model giving and effective stewardship of our physical resources.
- Organize small group meetings for the settled pastor to integrate into the community and meet people in this congregation.
- Collaborate with the pastor to understand the program ministries of the congregation and allow the pastor space to influence the direction of our program ministries.
- Pray with and for the new pastor in the initial months, keep an openness to the pastor’s ideas for our community, and support the pastor as new initiatives develop.
- Encourage members to make personal commitment to increase our engagement in the congregation in a concrete way, for example, attend worship more frequently, host fellowship, or serve on a committee.