Vision Statement: “We are separate, independent congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. However, we believe that the church is more than our own congregation. Thus we join hands with neighboring congregations in order to give witness to Christ’s love and life-giving power for changed lives in our community, country and world. The multi-point parish is not one parish serving multi-locations. It is multi-locations with their own missions and identity, working together through joint ministries.”
The United Lutheran Parish, which consists of five ELCA churches in Shawano County, Wisconsin, is a cooperative ministry endeavor. These churches are Peace Lutheran in Tilleda, Elias Lutheran in the Town of Herman, St. John Lutheran in Leopolis, Trinity Lutheran in Birnamwood and St. Paul’s Lutheran in Aniwa. Peace, Elias and St. John officially joined as one parish on July 16, 2000, as The United Lutheran Parish. Trinity joined in March of 2020 and St. Paul’s joined in October of 2021. They currently share one 3/4 time Pastoral Leader, 1 staff lay minister, and several pulpit supply ministers. Communion is celebrated twice a month at each congregation. Extra worship times are scheduled during Advent and Lent and during Holy Week.
The confirmation program is a joint effort among three of the congregations with classes currently held at the central office in Tilleda. There is also a class being held at Trinity in Birnamwood. Classes are held on Wednesdays.
The United Lutheran Parish has an Advisory Council which consists of the president and one other member of each congregation – some congregations have alternates – but each congregation has no more than 2 votes at a meeting. This council currently meets monthly, and reports back to their individual congregations. Once a year there is a Joint Council meeting held to update all council members of all the congregations at the same time. Advisory Council meetings are listed on the Events Calendar – usually the 3rd Tuesday of the month, but it does change occasionally.
We have recently appointed a Lay Pastoral Leader, Lois Graper, who has been accepted into the TEEM program through Wartburg Seminary. At the end of the approximately 3 year program, she will become ordained. See more information about this program on the Our Staff page. Bishop Gerald Mansholt of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin has approved Lois to preach and preside at holy communion services for The United Lutheran Parish and to serve as the pastoral leader of TULP during her time at Wartburg. Lois has since been given the title Vicar by the Bishop’s Office. She is currently serving her 1 year internship at The United Lutheran Parish and continuing her studies at Wartburg. She anticipates finishing her classes in 2018, at which time she will be available for a call as an ordained Pastor. The parish has been very supportive of her journey and look forward to the day they can call her “Pastor Lois”.
On September 22, 2018, Lois was ordained and installed to The United Lutheran Parish. It was a wonderful service and we look forward to many years of her pastoral leadership!