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 R. Showers-Foxe, Church Administrator
Levi Boyd, Custodian
Sharon Turner-Baldwin, Church Treasurer
Dot Jeffcoat, Financial Secretary
Jim Prater (President)
Michelle Couri (Secretary)
Jim Potts (Vice President)
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
Since our beginning in 1988, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ("ELCA") has been one church body organized in three expressions — congregations, synods and the churchwide organization. Each expression has its particular functions but all three together share a common mission of doing God’s work in the world and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
Together, they ensure a solid foundation of leadership, active involvement in communities, opportunities for dialogue and diverse perspectives, creative partnerships, and support for members and ministries of the ELCA.
The churchwide organization is based out of the Lutheran Center in Chicago and functions with the ELCA’s 65 synods and nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states, Caribbean and U.S. Virgin Islands. The churchwide organization’s work and functions are guided by the Churchwide Assembly, the Church Council and four elected officers. Its staff and elected officers work at the Lutheran Center and in other locations around the world serving as administrators, advisors, conveners, partners and resource people for the ELCA and its ministries.
The ELCA also nurtures important connections with Lutheran, ecumenical and interfaith partners, and related organizations. We work alongside 27 colleges and universities related to the ELCA, 7 seminaries, more than 2,000 schools and early childhood education centers, campus ministries, outdoor ministries, social service agencies, and other agencies and institutions across the country and throughout the world. The work God calls us to do in the world is never done alone or in isolation, and the churchwide organization plays a key role in developing and supporting a culture of interdependence, diversity and common mission across all expressions of the ELCA and its partners.
For more information regarding the ELCA, please click here.
Living Lutheran: Facing divisive issues in the Beloved Community
“How can we talk about difficult issues without dividing our congregation? In a church body as large as the ELCA, how much common ground remains? How can I even begin to converse with neighbors, friends and family members who see things so differently from my convictions?”
In Living Lutheran’s March issue, Michael Cooper-White uses Scripture, personal experience and theology to suggest answers to these questions and explains to readers how conversations within their communities can help heal a fractured society.
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