To our new or prospective members:
We welcome you in Jesus' name to our spiritual family here at Shepherd of the Grove. Our congregation has been serving God's people in Maple Grove with Word and Sacrament since 1973. We would like to serve all your spiritual needs too! We have prepared this brief summary of our congregation's beliefs, practices, and programs so that you might get to know us better.
Shepherd of the Grove is a congregation affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).
As Missouri Synod Lutherans we believe:
- In one God who has revealed Himself to us in three Divine Persons – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit;
- That this Triune God has caused His Word to be perfectly recorded in the Old and New Testament Scriptures by inspiration of the Holy Spirit; therefore, the Bible has no mistakes or errors of any kind and can be absolutely trusted yesterday, today and forever;
- That by His almighty Word, God created a perfect world in six (24-hour) days, but that this perfect world was ruined by Adam and Eve's rebellion. Their sin has corrupted all humanity so that all people are now conceived and born dead in sin and under God's wrath;
- That out of pure, undeserved love God sent His eternal Son into our sinful world to assume our flesh and to satisfy God's anger against our sins by His perfect life and His innocent suffering and death on the cross;
- That this same Son of God, Jesus Christ, not only died for the sins of humanity, but that He rose bodily from the dead after three days;
- That for Jesus' sake God has graciously pardoned the entire world and this is the good news or "Gospel" which Jesus wants His Church to proclaim to all people;
- That God distributes His forgiveness and is present today among His people through the "means of grace" (His Word and Sacraments);
- That Baptism is one of these "means of grace" through which God, by water and His Word, calls people (including infants and little children) into His Church or family, gives them the new birth of faith, and forgives them all their sins;
- That the Lord's Supper is another "means of grace" in which our risen Savior gives His true body to eat and His true blood to drink hidden in, with, and under the outward forms of bread and wine for the forgiveness of all their sins;
- That since those who do not believe in the bodily presence of Christ Jesus in the Sacrament also receive Jesus' true body and blood with the bread and wine, we ask those who are uninstructed or who do not agree with the doctrines of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod to refrain from receiving the Lord's Supper ("closed communion") until they are properly instructed;
- And finally, that our risen Savior Jesus will return visibly to this world on the last day and as He has promised to assign all unbelievers to eternal punishment in hell but to take all true believers to live with Himself in Paradise forever.
As a unified family, we expect all our members to actively participate in:
1. Divine Worship Services are regularly held every Sunday morning at 8 AM - Traditional and 10:30 AM - Contemporary. Other worship services are conducted during the year to celebrate special events in the life and ministry of our Lord; these service times are announced in the church bulletin.
2. The Lord’s Supper
at the Reformation of the Lutheran Churches celebrated the Lord's Supper "every Sunday and on other festivals
" (Apology XXIV, 1). We follow this fine custom and so offer the Lord's Supper every Sunday alternating weeks between services. Individual glasses and the common cup are offered at each Divine Service.
- Since we believe that our Lord wants people to agree in faith and doctrine before joining at the Communion Table (see 1 Corinthians 1:10; 10:17; Romans 16:17), we respectfully ask those who are not members in a congregation affiliated with the LCMS and not in complete agreement with the teachings and practices of our congregation to make arrangements to consult with the Pastor or one of the Elders before participating in the Lord's Supper.
- We ask those attending the Sacrament to register their attendance by filling out a white Communion Card in the pew. We also encourage communicants to prepare themselves to attend our Lord's Supper by reading Luther's "Christian Questions and Answers For Those Who Intend to Go to the Sacrament" (see the Small Catechism, pages 39-42 or Lutheran Service Book inside cover).
3. Christian Education
has always been a top priority at Shepherd of the Grove Lutheran Church. Jesus commanded, "Make disciples of all nations baptizing them…and teach them to keep everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28).
- Sunday School is held for all age groups every Sunday morning at 9:30 AM from September - May, led by qualified and dedicated teachers.
- Adult Bible Study is conducted by our Pastor through a year-round Bible Study on Sunday mornings during the Sunday school hour (9:15-10:15). A Thursday morning Bible class is also offered from 9:30-11:00.
- Shepherd’s Care Childcare Center is a ministry that supports families with young children by building strong bonds of friendship, gently guiding the children as they grow and helping them learn about Jesus by celebrating the wonder of God's love for us. Shepherd's Care accepts children from infancy to school-age. The Lord urges us, "Bring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6). For more information or enrollment, contact Susanne Herrlin or Aislinn Anderson, co-directors, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 763-493-3623.
- Confirmation classes are offered to children in grades 4 - 8. Leading to Confirmation (grades 4-5) and Confirmation (grades 6-8) Classes are held Wednesday evenings. The Bible and Luther's Small Catechism are taught. We expect all children to attend these classes regularly and faithfully in preparation for confirmation. Specific dates and times of the classes are determined at the beginning of each school year and announced both directly to parents and in the Sunday bulletin.
- Adult Catechesis or Discipleship 101 classes are held twice a year, both for members who wish to review our Lutheran doctrine and for non-members who wish to learn more about the doctrines and practices of the Lutheran Church or who wish to become members of Shepherd of the Grove Lutheran Church.
4. Offering Envelopes
are available to all our members so that they might, in a tangible way, express their gratitude to God for all the gifts of His love and grace and confess before others that they recognize His generosity and benefits. Electronic giving is also available. We encourage all our members to give:
- Regularly (1 Corinthians 16:1-2),
- Proportionately as God has blessed you (2 Corinthians 8:3 & 12),
- Cheerfully out of gratitude for His blessings,
- Trusting the countless promises in His Word (2 Corinthians 9:6; Malachi 3:9) and
- Remembering the grace, which our Lord Jesus has shown us, that "though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).
5. Small Group Ministries
offered at Shepherd include several group ministry opportunities such as:
- Lutheran Women's Missionary League (LWML): Women who are finding avenues to use their God-given talents as they meet the challenges to share the Gospel message.
- Sweet Servants: Making disciples of Christ through baking treats for Sunday morning consumption.
- Couples in Christ: Realizing that happiness is a healthy habit and God's gift to the world.
- Parenting in Christ: Focusing on a variety of parenting issues discussing all the joys and stresses in raising children in the faith.
6. Our Constitution
provides for a Congregational Assembly, which meets at least twice a year, our Evangelism Council is charged with planning and implementing the congregation's mission, and various other working boards to serve in fulfilling the Great Commission. All communicants 18 years and older are encouraged to become members of the Congregational Assembly.
- The Board of Elders is made up of male communicants (see 1 Timothy 3:8) in good standing. The Board of Elders meets monthly or as needs dictate. Any concerns members have should be brought to the attention of the Elders. Each Elder is assigned to serve a portion of the congregation. Please get acquainted with your Elder and feel free to discuss with him any matters of interest or concern you may have.
7. Luther's Small Catechism urges that all baptized members "shall daily recall the significance of their Baptism and daily, by contrition and repentance, drown the Old Adam with all sins and evil desires so that the New Man will daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever."
Further our congregation urges that all "communicants shall-
- faithfully attend Divine Services and Bible classes and attend the Lord's Supper regularly;
- willingly support the extension and promotion of Christ's Kingdom in this congregation with their time, talents, and treasures as God so blesses them;
- lead a sober Christian life (Galatians 5:19-21);
- not hold membership in any religious organizations which maintain principles, doctrines, or conduct conflicting with God's Word and sound Lutheran doctrine (e.g. Lodge);
- readily submit to and support the Constitution and By-Laws of this congregation;
- regularly support and pray for the Pastor of the congregation, give him the honor and respect due his office, and insofar as he faithfully preaches the Gospel and administers the holy Sacraments and teaches God's Word purely; (Small Catechism; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17);
- regularly support and pray for all Professional Church Workers in the congregation, and for all elected and appointed officers and workers in the congregation;
- support all the various educational programs of the parish including the support and maintenance of Shepherd's Care Childcare Center."