“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved...”
God’s love and grace are freely given by God to all people through Jesus Christ. No efforts of our own are required to earn God’s favor. Rather, it is our experience of God’s unconditional love that enables us to love God and neighbor, and work for peace and justice in Vallejo and beyond.
The hallmarks of the Lutheran Church are worship and service. Lutherans celebrate Holy Communion weekly, to experience and be inspired by the ultimate love and sacrifice of Jesus. Lutheran worship is full of music and singing, uniting the congregation in active worship, The goal of regular worship is not only to build up the individual and the community, but to empower each participant to carry God’s message of love and acceptance into the neighborhood and the world.
We are Lutheran Christians. We know that God loves us already; there is nothing we need to do to earn God’s love. God’s love, freely given, frees us to love and serve others, and to offer acceptance as we have been accepted.We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, through whom we know the living God.
Because no one is saved by being right, we are free to disagree with one another and to learn from one another. God is always about the business of reforming and transforming us.
Some of us are young, and others are elders. Some of us are fairly well off financially, and others struggle to make ends meet. Some of us are new to Christian faith, and some of us are life-long Lutherans.
We are people of various sexual orientations and gender identities. Some of us are multi-ethnic, and some of our ancestors came primarily from one geographic area. We are employed at various kinds of work – and some of us are retired. Our faith community is diverse!
People who have been excluded systematically need to be welcomed intentionally. We are a Reconciling in Christ congregation; we intentionally welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Reverend Dr. Dawn Roginski was born in the cold of Minnesota, living in a suburb of Minneapolis. She is blessed to have two very supportive parents and an extended family. Reverend Roginski studied psychology and completed a MA in Counseling Psychology at the University of Minnesota where where she worked in mental health for a number of years before attending seminary at Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
In 2003, Reverend Roginski became a part-time chaplain and part-time youth care worker at a residential treatment center for children in Kansas City, MO, providing care for seriously emotionally disturbed children and youth. She developed a youth ministry program from the ground up, including groups and worship. As her programs grew, she was offered the position of full-time chaplain. Reverend Roginski’s previous Pastoral calls include St. Francis Lutheran church in San Francisco and the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations in Berkeley ( as a synodical call).
Reverend Roginski currently serves as full time Pastor for United in Grace Lutheran Church: a consolidation of The Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity with St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Vallejo California.
Reverend Roginski has been involved in activism for a long time, especially around the issues of welcoming GLBTQ people in the church, marriage equality, economic justice and immigration reform. She has participated in groups such as Lutherans Concerned (now Reconciling Works), Clergy, Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) Pico CA, and the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations.
Though born in Texas, Reverend Crystal Larsen grew up in a suburb outside of Portland, Oregon. Her father took the family to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Members introduced camp which she attended every summer from third grade on, coming to know Jesus Christ by a glorious ocean, while developing an appreciation for God’s creation.
She attended a magnet arts school studying dance, now ever since being drawn towards creativity. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Business & Leadership at Marylhurst University, many years were spent in banking and financial professions. Something still felt missing in the journey. It was a nurturing theology professor who encouraged Crystal to pursue a call to ministry originally felt from a very young age. This ultimately led to six years spent as a youth director, mentoring youth and families.
Crystal has a comprehensive background serving in various churches including Presbyterian, Lutheran, and a joint Lutheran-Catholic parish. Out of which grew a love for the sacred heart of community while co-leading camps, mission trips, and spearheading numerous programs. She studied to become a pastor during an internship at First Lutheran Church & School in southern California. Crystal completed a Master of Divinity at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 2017, then was ordained to word and sacrament with the ELCA April 13, 2019.
She has a passion for spiritual and pastoral care, including in ecumenical and interfaith settings. She has completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is now finishing qualifications to become a board certified chaplain. She works full time as a staff chaplain at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, then part-time as United in Grace’s associate pastor. Crystal cherishes time spent with her beloved fiancé and dog. She thanks God for the wild but beautiful graced filled path that is life.