WHAT’S A LUTHERAN?
First, we believe that a Church is community of Christians that shares a vital and daring confidence in God’s grace. That faith liberates us to embrace each person as our sister or brother—questions, complexities, and all.
Second, we believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and summarized in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings. That’s the “Lutheran” part: we believe that Martin Luther’s basic insight is correct—that in Christ, the power of God makes all things new and sustains us for God’s mission in the world.
Would you join us as we seek to do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world?
We were founded by two immigrant groups who overcame their mutual suspicions to establish a church, a mission station, on the Minnesota prairie. On April 16, 1866, twelve Swedes and Norwegians met to organize the Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Church of Minneapolis. Those early years were difficult and the swelling ranks of Scandinavians from the old country led to the formation of two congregations—one that worshiped in Norwegian and the other in Swedish. Although financial struggles continued, the Swedes built their first sanctuary on Washington and 13th Avenue ($400 for the purchase of the land).
On June 24, 1883, we moved into a church building on 11th Ave. S. (seven blocks north of where we worship now). By1887, the membership had grown considerably (over 600 adults and 300 children) and we joined the old Augustana Synod. Through the past 148 years, we have birthed some 10 daughter congregations in the Minneapolis area—as well as many other ministries throughout the world.
A History of Service
In 1896, the women of Augustana established a “Mission Colony” to provide housing for single women and care for the elderly and children. Through the years, that ministry has spread throughout the twin cities and beyond as the Augustana Care Corporation.
Augustana also played an important role in the foundation of the Swedish Hospital of Minneapolis in 1898 (a predecessor to present-day Hennepin County Medical Center).
In 1929, we helped inaugurate the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.
We established Community Emergency Service in 1971—and to this day, CES remains “Dedicated to assisting community people in meeting basic physical, emotional and spiritual needs in a warm, accepting and Christ-like manner.” In the 1980s we founded the Crossroad Preschool and Mothers Morning Out.
The New Augustana
We now gather for worship, learning, fellowship, and service at CES (1900 11th Ave. South, Minneapolis [one block north of Franklin Ave. and seven blocks south of the second Augustana building]). Our first worship service at CES was Sunday, May 6, 2012, as we processed to this new space—in an area where folks face profound economic challenges; a place where diverse races seek to live together; a place, in many ways like the original Augustana of the 1860’s—a place where we are called to share Christ’s love with all.
Our history has now brought us here—to the new Augustana—where we follow the example of our forebears who founded this community of faith 150 years ago. Join us on April 23, 2017 for a 150th Anniversary Celebration of Augustana’s Past, Present and the Next 150 years. Worship is at 10:30 with lunch and a program afterward.