Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer—"Redeemer" for short--is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States. In fact, we are the oldest congregation in the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA. Founded in 1855, this congregation has been serving the communities of Southern Minnesota for over 160 years!
"Miracle Upon the Hill: The German Settlement Church"
Produced for our 160-Year Anniversary celebrations.
"The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region." ~ from ELCA's website
Click below for more information about the ELCA.
Baptism & Holy Communion
These sacraments are gifts from God, and they are freely shared with everyone. You are welcome to come to the waters of Baptism, and you are welcome to dine at the table of Holy Communion.
As Paul says in the book of Romans, NOTHING can separate you from the love of God! God's love is the name of the game here at Redeemer, and we truly believe all are loved by God. All are welcome here, no matter who you are or who you have been—Jesus' love is for you. When you walk through our doors, you will be greeted as a beloved human being.
The beauty of the Redeemer sanctuary was greatly enhanced in the Spring of 2001 by the artistic decorative painting of Lana Beck of Belle Plaine. It is painted in the Nuendaul style of German painting and is done in colors from the 1910 German Heritage Collection.
The focus in the front of the sanctuary should be on the altar and the stained glass cross above it. Therefore, the decorative painting on the front wall is in soft white, so it is not a distraction from the altar and cross. The painting incorporates strands of wheat and grapes, symbols of Holy Communion. This symbolic theme is carried on throughout the sanctuary.
Color is introduced on the arch outside the chancel area. There is a rope, symbolizing how we are bound together as a congregation. The rope is sheltered by vines, again reminding us of Holy Communion, and also of Jesus' words that he is the vine and we are the branches (John 15). The vines stretch out and reach out all around - just as the church's mission is to reach out to others, here and around the world.
Over the pulpit you see wheat and grapes, the raw materials used in the making of the bread and wine of Holy Communion. Over the organ, you see the bread and wine, and are reminded of Jesus' words as he first gave that bread and wine to the disciples: "This is my body, given for you... This is my blood, shed for you."
The vines also surround each of the windows on the sides of the sanctuary. Entwined with the vines are 56 family names from Redeemer's 146 year history (at the time of this painting). Included are all charter members from 1855 and 1856, all current members, and many other family names that have been a part of Redeemer over the years. These names remind us of our heritage - of those who have built up what we now enjoy; and they remind us of our present community, and our responsibilities to carry on and sustain the congregation here for future generations.
As we turn to exit the sanctuary, we are reminded of our return to the outside world - of hills and valleys, fields and flowers. The painting of the old Redeemer church building (1872-1950) is shown in different seasons, and above the door is the clock - seasons and time, - both are in Ecclesiastes 3:1, the verse painted blow the mural.
Around the steeple of the church a breeze swirls, as the breezes and winds are always swirling around Redeemer. Wind in the New Testament is a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit - a constant presence in every gathering of Christians.
Verses in the narthex speak of our coming and going. We come into the sanctuary under the words of Psalm 46:1, "God is our refuge and our strength." We enter the sanctuary to take refuge in God and receive God's strength. As we exit the main doors, we see the words of the benediction to each worship service, "May the Lord bless you and keep you..." (Numbers 6:24-26). Above the side exit are the words of the Holy Communion dismissal, "Go in peace, Serve the Lord."
Finally, hidden on the inside of the altar archway look up and see the first words of Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd." We are blessed to be surrounded by these beautifully painted symbols of our faith and heritage.