University Lutheran Church of Hope (ULCH) is a Christian congregation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and a part of Minneapolis Area Synod. ULCH is also a “Reconciling in Christ” (RIC) congregation welcoming into the life and leadership of the congregation people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
We believe all are created in the image of God and called to be God’s beloved community.
Our Christian belief is in the one, triune God, creator and parent of us all and still creating; God’s son, Jesus Christ, by whose example we live and through whose death and resurrection we receive forgiveness and fullness of life; and the Holy Spirit, ever sustaining and inspiring.
We believe the Bible, God’s living word, speaks to us today and that we are called to be as Christ to one another. The sacraments of baptism and holy communion shape our life.
Some of the core values that motivate our commitment to Christ, our community, and the diversity of our neighborhood include:
- social justice and peace-making
- hospitality and abundance
- the rich and colorful diversity of the body of Christ
- the Holy Spirit’s reconciling power
- many varied ways that all are called to serve one another and creation
- a desire to be a life-giving community rooted in Christ
University Lutheran Church of Hope is a dynamic, welcoming community of faith, centered in God’s grace and called to demonstrate God’s love for the world.
Inspiring worship: We celebrate our Lutheran heritage through liturgy, challenging preaching and vibrant music reflecting many traditions.
Nurturing community: We are an urban spiritual center in a changing university neighborhood, opening our facilities and ministry to groups and individuals outside the congregation.
Relationships: We are a diverse community empowered by the love of Christ to care for and support one another as we grow in faith lives.
Challenging study: We are thoughtful believers dedicated to faith formation and mindful inquiry expanding our understanding of how God is at work in our lives.
Life-changing service: We commit ourselves to Christ’s command to love our neighbor through life-changing service to others.
We have recently set new vision goals to help us better understand and connect with God’s mission for the world, and more specifically our Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown neighborhood. You can read our three new vision goals here.
Affirmation of Welcome:
University Lutheran Church of Hope, believing that the gospel is God’s gift to all people, seeks to continue to be a welcoming community.
As a community of faith, we know that the world is often an unloving place and that the experience of alienation is all too common.
We rejoice in the manner in which diversity has enriched, nurtured and challenged the life and ministry we share in Christ and regret actions and attitudes which may have inhibited or prevented access to Word and Sacrament because of age, race, socioeconomic or marital status, physical or mental capabilities, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
To those who have felt excluded, we extend a particular invitation to share in God’s reconciling activity among us.
To the stranger we offer hospitality.
To all, we extend a most heartfelt welcome and wish them continued joy and peace in the Lord.
Sanctuary Statement (January 2017):
Because the Gospel calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, University Lutheran Church of Hope declares our partnership with immigrants and others to resist unjust immigration policies and to offer our building as a holy sanctuary.
ULCH joins dozens of other local churches, in partnership with ISAIAH, who vow to create or support sacred spaces of refuge for immigrant individuals and/or families that are in immediate danger of deportation, and to be a community of love, hospitality, and fellowship for those in our care.
Racial Justice Statement (February 2018):
We profess that all people are beloved of God and are called to be a blessing to one another.
We reject as contrary to God’s will the racism that erodes our shared humanity – including unjust laws, unfair practices, hostile acts, implicit bias, white supremacy, and fear of people of other ethnicities, cultures, or religions.
We actively seek to stand together with people of all ethnicities, cultures and religions to promote the joy of fellowship and the dignity of equal opportunity.
Statement Against Violence Toward Asian American/Pacific Islanders (May 2021)
On May 18, 2021, the Vision and Governance Board approved the following Statement Against Violence Toward Asian American/Pacific Islanders. The statement will also be sent to the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod:
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic more than one year ago, acts of vandalism, harassment, shunning, refusal of service, verbal abuse and physical attack against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in our state and country have increased substantially. This collective trauma erodes Asian American and Pacific Islanders’ rightful sense of belonging in the U.S.
People of Asian and Pacific Island descent are our family members, congregation members, neighbors, and co-workers – who like every ethnic and cultural group in our country, contribute greatly to our common welfare. We recognize, celebrate and honor Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, their cultures, and their many contributions to our world.
The Racial Equity Statement adopted by our Congregation begins: “As people of faith, we acknowledge that ALL people are beloved of God. . . .” In our baptism we are called to work towards a world that reflects God’s love and justice. Our faith in a God of love calls us to unequivocally condemn hate and discrimination. We stand in solidarity with and express our unwavering commitment to combat this hate and violence and to support our Asian American and Pacific Island family members, neighbors, co-workers and congregation members.
Learn more about our history here.