Where We Worship: Salem Lutheran Church focuses on building community in Spokane

Salem Lutheran Church
Salem Lutheran Church

Chuckles rose from the congregation as many remembered the words to “Eyes on the Prize,” a 1960s freedom song, which was sung during worship on the seventh Sunday of Easter at Salem Lutheran Church

Blending traditional hymns, prayers, and Bible readings, Salem Lutheran, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, holds service Sundays at 10:15 a.m. Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday and all are welcome to partake.

Located in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood at 1428 W. Broadway Ave., Salem Lutheran was originally started by a small group of Swedish immigrants and has been at the corner of Walnut and Broadway for nearly 125 years. 

“It’s part of our immigrant heritage,” said the Rev. Liv Larson Andrews. “We’re here for people who don’t have a home.”

The church is a registered Reconciling in Christ congregation, and is made predominantly of people 60 and older with a few young families and college students also in attendance.

“We’re a small community with a big heart for neighborhood—we’re here to share life and rejoice,” Larson Andrews said.

Building community has always been a focus for Salem Lutheran. The church has worked with Spokane Urban Ministries to provide low-income housing in the surrounding buildings. They now have 47 units.

For the past eight years, Salem Lutheran has connected with the community through the The Book Parlor, a nonprofit, full-service bookstore located across the street at 1425 W. Broadway. Sharing a building with Indaba Coffee Bar, it sells books from all different genres as well as trinkets from around the world. 

To further bolster their presence in the community, the church has plans to start a family-oriented gathering on Thursdays where kids can do crafts while learning about the gospel. 

“It’s a way for us to strengthen our changing community and to share our mission,” said Larson Andrews.

Where We Worship is a Spokane Faith & Values feature that profiles different houses of worship in the Spokane area. To have your organization featured email tracysimmons@spokanefavs.com.

About Charlene O'Connor

Charlene O'Connor is a senior at Whitworth University. She is getting her bachelor's degree in communications with minors in sociology and theology.

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