Our Affirmation of Faith
At Reformation Lutheran Church, we believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that through this we are given grace, access to God, and become part of the healing, restoring and life giving work that God is creating in people and in the world.
Reformation, a congregation of Christ's Church, welcomes and affirms everyone to join with us on a journey of faith. We are committed to providing worship programs, ministries and pastoral care to all, regardless of religious background, age, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, ability, or national origin.
Everyone is welcomed and affirmed in this place, where the love of God is the foundation of all that we say and do.
There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. -- Galatians 3:28
At Reformation Lutheran Church, all are:
- Empowered, and
- Accepted in Christ
What makes us unique in who we are and how we do ministry is a shared core belief that everyone be truly welcomed into all that we say and do. We not only welcome all, but we accept them in Christ, empower them for ministry with us, and pray that they are inspired to share God’s love in their communities.
Including all to experience and share God’s love
Our Mission flows out of our Core Values and defines why we exist, what we are about. We don’t try to be everything to everybody, but we work to be the best we can be at living out our Core Values by including all we meet so that they can experience and then share God’s love.
A diverse community working together for God’s justice
We share a vision of the future in which our church is part of a diverse community working together for God’s justice. We believe that if we fulfill our mission and live out our core values, this vision is possible. This vision of future hope is what motivates our ministry.
To serve our community near and far with the love of Christ by doing justice, by showing loving kindness, and by walking humbly with God (Micah 6:8)
• Radical Hospitality (Luke 7:36-47)
• Diligent Discipleship (Matt 28:19-20, Gal 5:22-23, Acts 1:8)
• Diversity is a sign of life (John 4:7-15, 27-30)
• Caring for all God creates (Psalm 8)
• Everyone has something to offer (I Corinthians 12: 1-11)
Tim Bupp, Pastor
Joshua Greer, Music Director
Mikita Showers, Church Administrator
Levi Boyd, Custodian
Sharon Turner-Baldwin, Church Treasurer
Dot Jeffcoat, Financial Secretary
Ginny Eiwen, President
Jim Prater, Vice President
Michael Watson, Secretary
Reverend Tim Bupp, Pastor
Sharon Turner-Baldwin, Treasurer
My faith journey has been a wandering one – perhaps like yours. My first exposure to church and religion came when I was 10 in my Grandma’s Holiness Church. Her church seemed full of “hellfire-and-brimstone” preaching; like a Sci-Fi movie with talk of rapture, Jesus coming on a thunderous cloud with lightning bolts in his hand, and heavenly warriors taking names and kicking butt! My Grandma herself made an indelible mark on my beliefs because when she married my Grandpa Ira, a black man, in the early 1950’s, they had to move — Pennsylvania’s cohabitation laws prevented them from living together. That social injustice made me angry then and continues to underpin my ministry outlook today. After a disappointing stint at a Presbyterian church, I swore off both church and religion.
When I married Kathy, I was religiously adrift but still read the Bible because I liked Jesus’ chutzpah, how he cared for those at the margins of society, how he shared his love with all. It wasn’t until our second child was due that Kathy and I decided to find a church home. We visited the nearby Lutheran Church and were very attracted by the pastor’s emphasis that we do not need to earn our way to heaven, but instead, that we are called to respond to God’s love by sharing that love with others. Over the next years, the pastor asked me to work with the youth, then to help with catechism, and then to preach when he was out of town. Finally, he asked, “Did you ever think of ordained ministry?”
I laughed profusely! To get into Seminary, I’d need an undergraduate degree — after barely graduating from high school and working only in steel mills. But the pastor was persistent and supportive. When I hadn’t known enough about Lutheranism to teach, he encouraged me to learn and to teach. He helped me enroll in a Lay Worship Leader program so I’d be equipped to preach in other area churches and now, he continued to help me prepare by paying for a test to assess my college readiness and by showing me colleges within commuting distance. With his and Kathy’s help, I went to Slippery Rock University full time, graduated, and began my journey as a seminarian.Unlike Slippery Rock, which was nearby, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg was 230 miles away! It was not easy to be far from family or to live on one third of our family’s former income. In my last semester at seminary, I worked as a Lay Worship Leader at Grace Lutheran Church in Butler, PA closer to home.
As the semester came to an end, Grace Lutheran considered calling me as their Pastor and I had to deliver a “call sermon” before the congregational vote. I preached on the reading from Acts about Philip’s baptism of an Ethiopian Eunuch - someone excluded from Temple worship because of who he was. I challenged the Church to live out the inclusiveness of that text, to open its doors without prerequisites to people from all walks of life, whether black, white, gay, lesbian, or straight. I wanted the church to be fully aware before they voted - to call me for who I am, for what I believe. This appointment was followed by one in in Lexington SC.
When looking for a new challenge, I was excited to learn about Reformation Lutheran Church, a Reconciling in Christ congregation. I humbly accepted their call in August 2013. Now, I get to serve an awesome church, filled with radical hospitality, where my interracial Grandma and Grandpa could have attended. A congregation where my lesbian daughter and her partner can attend. A congregation willing to live out the fullness of Jesus’ grace, identified with his radical love and inclusiveness.
My wandering journey has taken me from being unchurched, through Pentecostal Holiness, and Presbyterian and Lutheran churches, a steel worker to college and seminary. I believe God has led and equipped me to lead this congregation, where I can truly say that ALL are welcomed and affirmed. Won’t you come give us a try?
Pastor Tim Bupp
Martin Luther was eight years old when Christopher Columbus set sail from Europe and landed in the
Western Hemisphere. Luther was a young monk and priest when Michaelangelo was painting
the Sistine Chapel in Rome. A few years later, he was a junior faculty member at a new
university in small-town Germany, intently studying the Scriptures, “captivated with an extraordinary
ardor for understanding Paul in the Epistle to the Romans.”
In these days Luther was tormented by the demand for righteousness before God. “I did not love, yes, I hated the
righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was
angry with God.” Then, in the midst of that struggle with God, the message of the Scriptures became clear,
like a long-shut door opening wide. When he realized that a “merciful God justifies us by faith … I felt that
I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”
What Luther discovered is the freedom of Christians trusting God’s mercy in Christ. As he later wrote, “Faith is
God’s work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God. This faith is a living, busy,
active, mighty thing. It is impossible for it not to be doing good works incessantly. Faith is a living, daring
confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that believers would stake their lives on it a thousand times.”
This discovery set Luther’s life on a new course —both his own life and his public service as a
preacher and teacher. When a church-endorsed sales team came to the Wittenberg area
in October, 1517, Luther was concerned that the promotion and sale of indulgences undermined the
promise of God’s unreserved mercy in Jesus and the faith that trusts that promise. His 95 Theses or Disputation on
the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences became the first of a life-long stream
of books, sermons, letters, essays, even hymns in which he expressed his confidence in this life-giving promise from
God, the Gospel, and its liberating implications for all of life in church and society.
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