About Us

 

Overview

Mount Calvary has dedicated itself to carrying out God’s will to love Him and love others by authentically connecting people to one another through the love of Jesus Christ.

Vision Statement

Mount Calvary Lutheran Church

Our vision is a dream we have for our community and world. Our vision is simple: we want to change the world by making it much less lonely. Loneliness is reaching epidemic proportions.  Many people say they do not feel close to anyone. Some people never feel like others understand them. A vast majority within our society feel their relationships are not meaningful or feel isolated and left out.  We want to stop and reverse this epidemic in our community. We have come to understand that vision as comprised of three parts that are distinct, built upon one another, and depend upon one another. Those three components are as follows:

Growth – We believe that the loneliness epidemic is best responded to by the church, because we believe in a God who wants to be with us above anything else (e.g., Isaiah 46:4, Matthew 1:23, John 14:16). For this reason, we strive to grow in knowledge of the grace of God given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 11:6, Titus 3:5-8). We will do this by intentionally reading the Scriptures, which declare the free gift of His love and draws us into a deeper relationship with Him. By reading His Word, we strive to be more like Him, to adopt His heart for others, and to challenge all of our beliefs – even our deeply held ones – in order to better appreciate the love of Christ. Likewise, we will work to get in-tune with the heartbeat of God by deliberately creating time and space to pray with and for others and trusting God with bigger, bolder, and deeper prayers. Finally, we want our relationship with God to grow deeper so that how we see the world will be changed, that empathy for others will be evoked, and that we will live our lives for others more than for ourselves.

Trust – Through simple observation, we see that our nation seems to be less trusting of other people – especially those we do not understand or do not agree with – each and every day. This hurts our relationships and makes us lonelier. We want to be an example to all for how to cultivate and instill trust, because trust restores relationships (Proverbs 17:17). To do so, we pledge to listen, open up, and respond to others without being guarded in an effort to begin a meaningful relationship (Galatians 6:2). We commit to do so especially with those who have no voice socially, culturally, or religiously (Romans 12:16) as we build a place where everyone belongs and feels safe. Finally, we intentionally devote ourselves to events, groups, and projects that build trust through fellowship and service.

Compassion – In order to build trust, we commit ourselves to having compassion for others (Micah 6:6-8), especially through open dialogue guided by the grace of Jesus Christ. We do so by first accepting everyone for who they are, recognizing that wherever they are in their journey of faith or life, they are worthy of Christ’s love (Romans 5:8). As a result, we devote ourselves to partnering with them in their journey. We further recognize that compassion from the Church is most needed in the lives of those hurt by the Church, specifically women, people of color, and those of the LGBTQ+ community. We choose to love, embrace, and listen to hurting people with the love given to us in Christ (John 13:34, 15:12, 1 John 4:19). Finally, we aim at helping people holistically (physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually) as we work together for social health.

Only through growth, trust, and compassion, will we make our world less lonely. By growing closer to Jesus, we will discover that He is always with us. By trusting each other deeply, we will know we have friends – brothers and sisters in Christ – who love us. And, by having compassion on those hurt by the Church, we will demonstrate that Christ’s love has no bounds. These three things will connect us to Jesus, each other, and all. As a result, the world will no longer be a lonely place for countless people.

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PARKING

Parking is plentiful at Mount Calvary. Handicap and vistior parking are both available directly in front of the entrance.
WHAT TO WEAR

While some people dress up, others choose to dress informally or casually. We truly ask you to come the way you feel most comfortable. We are just glad you are here.
WHERE TO GO

Upon parking, make your way to the double doors currently marked by a flag under the overhang. Once you enter, walk toward the double doors in front of you. An usher will greet you and hand you a bulletin. Please sit wherever you feel comfortable.
BABIES & CHILDREN

Children are a vital part of Mount Calvary! That's why we provide colorful Worship Bags for them. They are encouraged to be themselves during the worship service and are even invited up for a Bible Story. If needed, our family room is located just outside the sanctuary with books and toys for your little ones.
COFFEE & FELLOWSHIP

Join us for coffee and fellowship after first service (around 9:15am) in the Fellowship Hall. We will gladly welcome you if you want to check out the adult bible study at 9:30am.

Worship

We gather to hear and experience how much God loves us and challenges us to live more like His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Worship at Mount Calvary is a time when God comes to us, because He desires to shower us with his mercy and grace. We receive His many gifts throughout the worship service, but we especially give thanks for His Word through the sermon and His Sacraments through the Lord’s Supper offered every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sunday.

Our worship services focus on two truths:

  • Jesus Christ loves you unconditionally and without strings. His death upon the cross rescues you from evil and demonstrates our Lord’s love. He now spends time with you to get to know you better.
  • Jesus Christ wants a better life for you. Throughout His life, He challenged many people with His teachings. He is convinced that if you live a life for other people, you will be happier, more alive, and deeply satisfied.

What these two things mean is simple. When you worship at Mount Calvary, you will be comforted with the peace that comes from knowing the Lord of life loves you at the same time you will be challenged to live the life prepared for you.

Our History

The original location of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church
The original location of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church

Mount Calvary began its life together as a Sunday School mission to the Waynedale area by Emmaus Lutheran Church. By the late 1920’s, the mission had grown into a congregation and started construction of a permanent facility on Lower Huntington Road, where the Walgreens currently sits. In the fall of 1929, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church & School opened its doors for the first time. By 1955, the congregation had outgrown its chapel and school buildings, so a new building was erected for the school and the chapel was expanded. In 1990, the congregation grew once again and relocated to its current location on Reservation Drive. A final addition, which included the Family Life Center, was dedicated in 2002.

Pastor Herman H. Backs was called to be the first pastor of the congregation. He also took on the role of first principal and teacher when the school opened. Pastor Backs was not only instrumental to the success of the congregation, but was and still is dearly loved by the people of Mount Calvary. Pastors Arthur Zschiegner, John Struve, Gerald Hartke, David Easterday, David Adams, Gary Miller, Donald Porter, and Glenn Meyer all served as pastors at Mount Calvary after Pastor Back’s retirement in the early 1970’s.

Over the last decade, Mount Calvary has gone through some challenging and difficult times. We have struggled not only to adjust to the changing culture, but have also had some painful experiences that have forced us to look inward. As a result, Pastor Nathan Whittaker – or Nate, as he prefers to be called – was called in August of 2017 to guide us into the next phase of our life together. He joined Doug Reynolds, who serves as the Director of Family Life and Worship. Together with the staff and leaders of the congregation, they strive to demonstrate love for people and support for the family. Throughout this time, Mount Calvary continued operating its preschool. Due to the ingenuity and creativity of the preschool’s faithful Director, Sue Doepner, the preschool added a child care in 2008 to better serve families in the area. This successful ministry is led today by Dora Kurpierz and is still available to families from 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday for children age 6-weeks through grade 5 (age 12).

Currently, we are discovering what our life together really looks like. We have gone through a successful and important process of uncovering our mission, vision, and strategy. As we learn to live in them, we are figuring out what it really looks like to live in a community focused on connection through the love of Jesus Christ.