St. John Lutheran Church

The Purple Door Church

1100 North Main St.  Celina, OH 45822

419-586-2332

WHAT WE BELIEVE
AT The Purple Door Church

St. John Lutheran Church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

 

We are church

 

We are real people!  We are what God has made us – people whom God has created by grace to live in union with Jesus Christ and has prepared to live faithful, fruitful lives by the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-10). In Jesus Christ, God has reconciled us to God and to each other. As we gather around word and sacraments, this life in Christ is what defines, shapes and guides us as a community of faith, the church.

 

By God’s grace we can and do live confidently and generously in this community of faith and in service of others, amid the mysteries and paradoxes of this life in Christ – including our human limitations and failings, and the ambiguities, uncertainties and suffering that we experience.

 

We are Lutheran

 

We are a church that walks by faith, trusting God's promise in the gospel and knowing that we exist by and for the proclamation of this gospel word. We proclaim Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead for the life of the world.

We understand to be Lutheran is to be ecumenical – committed to the oneness to which God calls the world in the saving gift of Jesus Christ, recognizing the brokenness of the church in history and the call of God to heal this disunity.

 

We are sent

 

Worship is central to who we are as Christians, but even more important than worship, we are sent.  We are God’s hand and God’s feet in the world.  We actively seek the lost, broken, confused, isolated, vulnerable, and displaced, not just with the Word of God, but with the very presence of Christ. 


We are church together

 

In baptism, we are joined to all communities of Christian faith around the world. In Christ none of us lives in isolation from others. Jesus is our peace and has broken down the walls that divide us – walls of judgment, hatred, condemnation and violence – and has made us into one, new human community.  As church, we yearn for the oneness we believe God intends for the church.

We understand that our innate sin and prejudice continues to divide the church on earth, but we strive with the strength of God and the guidance on the Holy Spirit to welcome all.

 

The Lutheran Church is a community where all are welcome.  And all means all!

We don't know where you are in your faith walk, but we understand that questions are worth answering. While it's impossible to address every question you might have, we hope this overview will at least provide a start.


Holy Communion


What is Holy Communion?

Holy Communion is a sacred meal in which Christ comes to us in and through bread and wine. “This is my body given for you… This is my blood shed for you.” We believe those words to be true. Christ is truly present in Holy Communion. When we receive the bread and wine of this meal, we receive his body and blood.

 

Holy Communion goes by many names, Eucharist (meaning Thanksgiving), the Lord’s Supper, the Sacrament of the Table.

 

Who receives Holy Communion?

All of God’s people are welcome to our Lord’s table — it’s our Lord’s table after all, and all are invited. It is not “pastor’s” table, or “St. John’s” table or a “Lutheran” table. It is our Lord ’s Table, and Jesus sends out the invitations — to everyone.

 

There is no minimum age for receiving this sacrament. There is no sense of understanding or mental capacity necessary to receive communion.

 

What about allergies or other sensitivities to bread and wine?

As we seek to welcome all, we want to be sensitive to the special needs of all who gather with us.  We offer gluten-free bread and non-alcoholic juice to those who request it.

 

When is my child ready?

If your child is baptized, then your child is ready.  But if you are still wondering, here are some questions:

·         Can the child receive a gift of love with “no strings attached?”

·         Is the child asking questions about Holy Communion?

·         Is there a verbal desire being expressed to receive communion?

·         Does the child want to extend his or her hand to receive communion?

·         Does the child participate in the worship service (sings along in worship, says the Lord's prayer, etc.)?

·         Does the child talk about feeling left out when other family members commune?

 

First Communion Class

We offer a formal class once a year during the season of Lent.  If you are interested in the class, if you have questions about the class, or if you’d like to sign up for the class, please contact Pastor Jeff Gramza.  Because our regularly scheduled class does not meet the calendar constraints of some families, we are pleased to offer individual classes.

The Bible

Everything Lutherans believe comes from the Bible, God's message of love and hope for all people. The Bible is the written Word of God, handed down to us in order to point us to the truth that we are saved from our sin and eternal death by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe the Bible is completely reliable and without error. In it we learn everything we need to know about God's love and God’s gifts to us. 

About 'Being Saved'

There is absolutely nothing we can do to "be saved" - Jesus Christ has already done everything necessary. In his death and resurrection, everyone who believes in Jesus as Savior has been brought back into a right relationship with God. That means that, on account of Jesus, everyone who believes is "justified," or put back into a “right” relationship with God. God has done justice to the world's sins; because of Jesus, all who believe are forgiven and will live eternally.

We do not cooperate in our salvation and there is nothing we could ever present to God to make our way into eternal life with God. Neither can we really feel it or prove it. We cannot reason our way to salvation, nor can we earn it. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves—Jesus Christ has done it all.

Faith

It is through faith in Jesus that we receive the forgiveness of sins and eternal life - by believing that He has freed us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin. Faith is a gift worked in us by the power of the Holy Spirit; it doesn't come to us through anything we are capable of, but through what God does for us. We simply receive what is already being offered out of God's great love.

Grace

Lutherans often refer to grace. While we deserve to pay the penalty for our sins, God has a different plan. Christ paid the debt and we receive forgiveness and eternal life from God that is offered out of unconditional love. That's why it's called grace because it is truly undeserved.

 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9)."

God has provided tangible ways through which God delivers this grace to those who believe, assuring us that the sins we commit are forgiven for Jesus' sake. These are called the "means of grace" and are God's Word, holy Baptism, and the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion).

 

Through these means, God makes God’s self  known to us in a very personal way: God's Word reveals God’s faithfulness and love; Baptism is our rebirth and renewal in Jesus; the Lord's Supper is our closest communion with Christ as we receive his body and blood.

God Works

Since there is nothing we can ever do to earn salvation, we do not do good works in order to be saved; good works are done out of praise and thanks because we are saved. Such good works include, but are certainly not limited to, serving and caring for the needs of others, honoring and giving respect to those in authority, honoring our vows and commitments, and generally doing what is considered by many to be good and right. It's often said that Martin Luther expressed it this way: God doesn't need our good works, but our neighbor does.

Baptism

Why do we Baptize? It is the great commission of our Lord Jesus that we would, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt 28:19  Through water and the Word of God in baptism, we are liberated from sin and death by being joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus. Rom 6:3-4 God uses baptism to bring about faith. In baptism, we are “born again of the Spirit” John 3:5 to begin a new life freed in Christ to love God and serve others.


Schedule the Baptism

The first step scheduling a baptism is to call or email our receptionist Rachel at office@purpledoorchurch.org or (419) 586-2332.  Or contact Pastor Jeff Gramza at:  revgramza@purpledoorchurch.org or (419) 586-2332 to ask questions or to schedule a baptism.


Common Questions


What is an appropriate age for baptism?

Since the first days of the Christian Church, infants and adults have been baptized. We believe God is the one who acts at baptism through the earthly element of water connected to God’s unshakable promise. When infants are baptized, parents make promises for their child until the child is old enough to affirm these promises for themselves at Confirmation.


Do I have to be a member?

No. Baptism is open to all who believe and wish to be baptized in the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whether you are a member of St. John Lutheran Church or not.  While congregation membership is not a requirement, we do believe a person is joined to the community of faith through baptism. In baptism, commitments are made to enter a life-long journey of faith within a congregation. We encourage families to be connected to a faith community. If you don’t have a church home, please consider the Purple Door Church as your church family.


What if I was baptized and raised in another faith tradition?

We believe there is only one lifelong Christian baptism in the triune God (The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). There is no need to “re-baptize” when someone comes to the Lutheran church from another Christian faith, or if someone who has been baptized feels they have fallen away from the faith. Baptism is about God’s promise to you.  God’s word at baptism holds firm!  God never falls away from you.


 Baptismal Sponsors/God Parents

One or more persons of your choosing will stand with you during the baptism. Sponsors have a calling to encourage the child in Christian faith. Sponsors can be any family member or friend who is a baptized Christian.


Can I do a private baptism?

We do not perform private baptisms at St. John Lutheran Church. Baptism is entry into a community of faith, where the people of St. John Lutheran make promises to love, support, and pray for the one baptized.


So I’ve been baptized. What now?

Baptism is not a “one and done” event. Baptism is the first milestone in a life-long journey of faith in community with other believers in the world.  If you are baptizing your child, you are making promises to teach them the Christian faith, to bring them to worship, and to attend worship yourself. It’s important you work on your own spirituality to help them grow in their baptismal relationship with God.

Caring Ministry 

Christ Jesus moves among us and joins us in the work we are called to serve in our church family at St. John Lutheran Church. As a community of believers, we seek to listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and act upon God’s calling, together and individually. We are here to serve with each other in times of need, in joy and in sorrow; recognizing the privilege of being chosen to experience amazing gifts from God as we offer our time, talent, love, and compassion in Jesus' Name.

Stephen Ministry


Stephen Ministers provide one-on-one Christian care to men and women who have experienced or are going through a crisis situation in their lives. While they are not professional counselors or therapists, they are trained and supervised volunteers. They are there to listen, support and comfort individuals without expecting anything in return, and yet in their ministry they are filled and fulfilled in unexpected wonderful ways as they care about and care for others.


If you feel like you could use some help working through a crisis, please contact Visitation Pastor Jeff Gramza or Stephen Ministry Leader Linda Siebert, who can confidentially help you get paired up with a Stephen Minister. Linda can be contacted at siebertsl@yahoo.com or at (419) 852-2102.


Prayer Chain


The Prayer Chain is a vital part of St. John’s prayer ministry. We are a people of prayer and this network of people is committed to prayer on behalf of the congregation based on Jesus’ words to "ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened,"  (Matthew 7:7). The importance of the prayer chain is that it faithfully intercedes on behalf of others in need by lifting up specific requests, concerns and emergency situations.  All prayer requests submitted to the prayer chain are held strictly confidential.


If you have a prayer request please contact Vicki Weisman at vickiweisman@hotmail.com


If you have the gift of intercession and are interested in being part of our Prayer Chain team, please send your email address to Vicki Weisman at vickiweisman@hotmail.com.


Prayer requests are sent out immediately and updates are sent out monthly.