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What We Believe

Shepherd of the Hills is an open, welcoming Lutheran church.

There are many ways to follow Jesus, and many churches for many different kinds of people. At Shepherd, our first instinct is to offer a welcome to all people, and we hope that all people do feel welcome here. We are a family of liberal and conservative people, young and old, heterosexual and LGBT, same-sex and opposite-sex married couples, parents, grandparents, and even some great-grandparents! No matter who you are, you are welcome at Shepherd.

We believe that love, not doctrine, is at the center of it all.

Jesus was once asked to name the most important thing in all of life. His response: Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. We seek to live out this central principle in our daily life. Specific doctrines, creeds, and beliefs are not as important to us as living a life that is centered in love. Love God; love all people. Love.

We take the Bible seriously, but we don’t take it literally.

Our reading of the Bible is most often characterized by a historical and metaphorical approach. We appreciate the Bible as a written record of people who have listened for God’s voice throughout history. The Bible reflects the development of their thinking and the evolution of their listening from generation to generation. We take the Bible seriously and try to read it as the genre that it presents itself. We appreciate the power of Biblical poetry, song, metaphor, history, and family story. We read the Bible seeking meaning, purpose, and hope for our day-to-day living. We read the Bible as the witness to God's activity in the world, and pray that it then inspires our continued living out of God's purposes in our daily living.

We are deeply rooted in the Lutheran expression of the Christian faith, but we appreciate the wisdom of other traditions.

Faith communities often make exclusive claims about God and spiritual truth. At Shepherd, we practice our faith with passion but also with humility. We appreciate the wisdom of our tradition, and we also celebrate that other people and other traditions can speak into our lives. We believe that appreciating the wisdom of other faiths enriches our own faith. Because of this approach, we look for opportunities to create relationships with others. We seek to make friends with our diverse neighbors. Even within Shepherd, we do not all believe the same things; these internal differences are important to us.

We believe that caring for our neighbors is central to being a follower of Jesus.

We believe in the promise of the resurrection and hope for life after death. We also believe that Jesus was particularly interested in helping to bring God's kingdom, and influence to the world. Especially when it comes to the care, support and love of the poor, marginalized or outsiders. At Shepherd, we strive to help God bring a little more heaven to this life and this world. This commitment leads us to partner with local organizations on the front-lines of bringing a compassionate response to human suffering and furthering the work of caring for our neighbors in need. Our current list of partners include: Hopkins Public Schools, the ICA Food Shelf, ResourceWest, Teens Alone, the Blake Road Corridor Collaborative, the Hopkins Police Department, Edina Challenge, and HopkinsVolunteers.org. You can learn more about our partnerships on the community partnerships page.