Monday, November 15, 2004

203 Lutheran Churches Columbus Ohio

If you are browsing the internet looking for a Lutheran church in the Columbus metropolitan area, or one serving Upper Arlington, Hilliard, Dublin or North Columbus, you probably won't find the largest, which is Upper Arlington Lutheran Church. So I'm blogging about it today to help you find it, because there are no meta-tags in the turn-key system to direct you to it.

Upper Arlington Lutheran Church is one congregation with three locations, The Church on Lytham Road, 2300 Lytham Road, Upper Arlington, 43220; The Church at Mill Run, 3500 Mill Run Drive, Hilliard, 43026; and Hilltop Lutheran Church, 12 South Terrace Avenue, Columbus, 43204. This wouldn't be nearly as confusing if we'd originally chosen a spiritual name like Trinity or Lamb of God instead of a city's name, but that's how the New Testament churches did it.

Upper Arlington Lutheran Church in suburban and west side of Columbus, Ohio, offers a variety of worship styles, five times on Sunday at Mill Run, four times on Sunday at Lytham, and one at Hilltop. There is a wide variety of teachings and Bible study throughout the week, with Sunday morning and Monday evening being the heaviest schedules, with Sunday school and "Outfitters," for deeper study of theology, the Christian life, parenting, etc.

This large Lutheran church in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area has a Vacation Bible School that will knock your socks off--something like 2500-3000 kids are enrolled and teachers are drawn from all over the city for what must be a logistical nightmare for the planners, with morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Every adult who works in this program, even those who sell the t-shirts, are checked and screened and have references.

There is a very large nursing home ministry that offers Bible study and communion at local facilities, and offers regular training and support for members of those ministries. I couldn't even begin to count the liaisons between the church and groups like Inter-Varsity, Campus Crusade, and International Friendships. If you can't find a ministry to serve in at UALC, you just haven't looked.

I'll put in a plug here for something that's relatively rare in churches, and that's an established Visual Arts Ministry. UALC has probably the finest gallery space in metropolitan Columbus, and is currently booking shows for 2006. It has an annual Members All Media Art Show (MAMAS) during Advent. But this ministry is miniscule compared to the music ministry which frequently features a full orchestra, and has separate choirs for the different locations. The Christmas choir offerings are usually over sold and are fabulous. We have a new music director this year, formerly at Karl Road Baptist, who looks very promising.

This Columbus area Lutheran church offers unique opportunities for urban ministry through its contacts at Hilltop Lutheran, including a food pantry, clothing store, elementary school mentoring and volunteering, and programming useful for a community not in the suburbs.

Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, a large Columbus area church, has regular print-on-paper publications, The Cornerstone, which primarily focuses on scheduled events, and Crosslinks, a full color, glossy monthly magazine (access through the main web site), with general content articles of interest to visitors and members. Both are available in PDF files.

I'll cross post this at my other blog, Collecting My Thoughts, and then I'll check Google to see if "Lutheran Church Columbus Ohio" will finally bring up the largest Lutheran church in the city. It's worth a try! And the next time you're in the Columbus, Ohio, stop in and visit.

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