Risen Savior Lutheran Church
Contact: 625 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista (619) 735-7617 www.risensavior.us
Pastor: Paul Schulz
Born: Watertown, WI
Formation: Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN; Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, WI.
Years Ordained: 17
San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?
Pastor Paul Schulz: Forgiveness. I’m desperately in need of it myself. As I’m preparing my sermons, I write each sermon for me and preach to my own heart first. As I evaluate my life and compare it to what God’s word says, I see I need forgiveness from God and from the people in my life. That leads then to a discussion on grace. Since I need forgiveness and God so freely gives it to me (even though I don’t deserve it), God gives grace to me, and it’s mine for free. But it came at a price – Christ laying his life down for me. So forgiveness and grace are the key terms that almost every Sunday I hope you will walk away understanding. You need forgiveness, you are forgiven, and that’s God grace working in your life.
SDR: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?
PS: The devil has been pretty good at using a lot of different activities and programs scheduled on Sunday, including sports programs, so that parents make these programs a priority on Sunday mornings rather than spending time having their faith be fed. I support these sports activities – so by no means am I saying that in and of themselves they’re bad – but the devil uses them to infringe on family time on Sunday. They’ve stretched families very thin. Sports can bring families together but they can also take a lot of people away from church on Sunday morning.
SDR: What is the mission of Risen Savior?
PS: To grow in faith, to live with hope and to serve others with love, and to do all those things for the glory of God. It’s neat that this area is so multicultural, and it’s a blessing when you walk in here on a Sunday, and the greater community is reflected in the group that gathers here on a regular basis. I think of our members – from places such as Mexico, Germany, Japan, Philippines, and Madagascar. That’s a picture of heaven – all nations and languages at prayer in this particular location.
SDR: What book, other than the Bible, has had the most influence on your pastoral work?
PS: Martin Luther’s sermons. Those who don’t know him very well think he comes off sounding very harsh – and he is very straightforward – but he has such a great love for families. One of his big goals was to get God’s word into homes, to give dads and moms the tools they need to teach their children. That’s why Luther wrote his catechism, to put God’s word in the hands of parents.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PS: As one who by God’s grace believes in Christ’s life, death and resurrection, heaven will be my home…. Everything that Jesus has done, he has done for everyone who ever has or ever will live. When he died on the cross, he did so for every single person in the world; unfortunately if you reject what he has done for you, the Bible tells us there are real condemnation and a real hell for those who reject God’s grace. But we have a merciful God and we’re continually fed by his word so we don’t grow cold and walk away from him.