Public Ministry

Growing Discipleship in Community

And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”  (Micah 6:8b NRSV)  


What Is Public Ministry?  

As people of God, we have been freed in Christ to love our neighbor. Public Ministry calls us into fulfillment of our Affirmation of Baptism (ELCA) to “serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus,” and “to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”  

Our grateful response to God’s love and grace motivates us to live lives that serve the well-being of our neighbors and the life of the world. At Nativity, we join as a community of faith in the ongoing journey of discipleship, learning together, loving well, and serving gladly.  

Nativity’s Department of Public Ministry is an integration of its longstanding outreach initiatives and ministries of social justice and Advocacy. It supports our congregation’s seven outreach areas, including volunteer-led initiatives and community partnerships.

The work of Public Ministry also engages the Nativity community through educational opportunities, scriptural reflection, intergenerational activities, and spiritual storytelling to help us explore and integrate questions of discipleship. Our individual commitments of Christian service find new life and enrichment through deepening our discipleship together in spiritual community. 

“We are Church for the sake of the World. ELCA is a church called by Jesus Christ to be a public witness to the love of God poured out for all.”

The Call of Public Ministry?

By Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy, Director of Public Ministry for Nativity 

Public Ministry calls us into the life of the world, but first it calls us closer to one another as a community of faith.

Discipleship is a lifelong journey of learning and transformation supported and shared in community. Through our community practices—worship and prayer, spiritual formation and loving fellowship—we are transformed together.

Together, we will discover that our Nativity community itself provides the variety of gifts essential to deepening our discipleship journey. We will find ways to tell “Nativity’s story” through one another’s stories, which will lead us to creatively tell, retell and enact our community’s transformation.

Growing together in faith, community provides the transformative love that deepens our discipleship and inspires our vision for service. In this way, worshiping, growing, and serving as a church committed to Public Ministry becomes more than a programmatic mindset and moves into a living, embodied energy.

We know it is the community that carries the Gospel story into the daily life of the church and into the world. How we live the Gospel each day makes it real and relatable. Service puts our faith into action and our love into practice. “Called by Jesus Christ to be public witness to the love of God poured out for all” (Romans 5:5, paraphrased), we are “a publicly engaged church that rolls up our sleeves” (ELCA), to do God’s work in the world—the work of loving our neighbors, caring for creation, pursuing justice, seeking peace, upholding human dignity, supporting healing, restoring hope, and reconciling communities. Guided by Jesus’ example of love, service and forgiveness, we minister to the world in all its complexity. Transformed by and supported within community,  we love courageously and live generously.


Faith Practices & Neighboring Practices: Renewing Congregational Imagination is a two-year learning community for congregations in the Minneapolis Area Synod. We believe that vital congregations take seriously the small simple practices that build community, cultivate mutual relationships, and expand our awareness of God’s activity in the places where we have been called to live.  


More information for the 2024 MLK Weekend Community Event to come!


I’m thrilled to welcome you to our month-long community book read. Our chosen book is the beautiful and thought-provoking Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer. You can purchase the adult, young adult, or children’s versions.