Visitors’ Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you’ll visit! Here are some frequently asked questions to help you plan your visit to St. Paul.
“When do you worship?”
We worship every Sunday at 10:00 am. We also offer a variety of seasonal worship services, special events, and educational and social groups throughout the year. Please see our full activity calendar for the latest and most comprehensive information.
“How do I get to St. Paul?”
St. Paul Lutheran Church is located at 13th and Franklin Streets in Downtown Vancouver, Washington. From I-5, take Exit 1C and follow Mill Plain Road to the West. Turn left on Franklin Street, and after just two blocks you’ll find us on the left side of the road.
For specific routing information, check out our custom map.
“Where do I go when I get here?”
Our main entrance is located at 13th and Franklin Streets. Street parking (which is free on weekends and after 6pm during the week) is available all around the building on 13th, 14th, Franklin, and Esther Streets. A handicap-accessible entrance is located between the church and outreach center, with doors on Franklin Street or in the alleyway off of 14th street, and an elevator is located just inside the entrance to the church building. If you need assistance with the elevator, just ask.
Once you’re inside, feel free to check out our bulletin boards in the narthex (lobby) area and grab a cup of coffee, which is available before just about any event at the church. Before worship, greeters will welcome you into the building, and ushers will help you find a seat. At other times, designated persons will be available to assist you in finding your way.
“What’s worship like?”
On Sunday mornings, we often begin our worship with about ten minutes of singing, usually comprised of songs accompanied on the piano. Pastor Joe will welcome the assembly to worship, and we’ll sing an opening hymn, generally accompanied on the organ. As worship continues, although the exact words and music may change from week to week, our composite liturgy observes the rich historical pattern of the early Christian church. We read from Scripture, hear a sermon, sing hymns and songs, pray for one another and those in need, celebrate Holy Communion — to which all are welcome! — and go forth to serve.
At all our services we seek to worship God in a gracious, inclusive environment. Come as you are, dressed however you wish, carrying whatever joys and burdens you may have — only with a heart and mind open for worship! We are a community in which “all are welcome” is not just a phrase but a mission.
“What’s your mission statement?”
“We are a community of God’s people Celebrating, Inviting, Growing and Serving in the love of Jesus Christ!”
We understand that phrase to mean:
We are called to Celebrate God’s love for us in worship and music.
We are commissioned to Invite others to hear the Gospel and join in the fellowship we have as Christian people.
We are encouraged to Grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and in the stewardship of our gifts and entire lives.
We are empowered to Serve all people following the example of our Lord Jesus through our outreach in the local community and in the world, and in the caring we give and receive.
“What is a Lutheran, anyway? What’s the ELCA?”
A Lutheran is a member of the branch of the protestant church which observes the Lutheran Confessions and some of the writings of Martin Luther, especially his doctrine of justification by grace through faith. In a nutshell:
- We believe we are saved by the grace of God alone — not by anything we do;
- We believe our salvation is through faith alone — a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life and salvation; and
- We believe the Bible is the norm for faith and life — the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.
We are a parish church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is comprised of over 10,000 parishes and 4.6 million members in the United States. For more information on the ELCA and Lutheranism, visit this ELCA website.
“Can I celebrate a wedding, arrange a funeral, or host a meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church?”
For more information on policies and rates, and to begin making pastoral arrangements for weddings and funerals, contact the church office using the information to the right.
“What if I have more questions?”
Please contact the church office and a staff person or volunteer will help you with an answer or get you connected to the right person.