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  QuikStory Logo l
You've got one lens focused
on the biblical narrative and
the other on the community.
Bob Hoem, Interim Pastor
  Amazing Grace Lutheran Church
formerly Trinity Lutheran and Our Savior's Lutheran
  LOCATION (click link for demographic summary)  
  Aberdeen, WA 98520  
  REGIONAL BODY (click link for website)  
  Southwestern Washington Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  FEATURED RESOURCE (click link to learn more)  
  ReVision w/ Context  
  FULL STORY (click link to
  Merged for Mission  
Successful consolidation!
ReVision facilitator and grant provided by Synod
Facilitator and Interim Pastor focused on  mission opportunity and biblical imperative
ReVision focused change issues and created energy
Church open to ALL and committed to outreach
Nearby inmates included in ministry
Church seeking pastor who will be in sync with mission mandate
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l Merged for Mission
Click here to read the Full Story
For most pastors who are called to one community, one church, there's no place like home. But if you're an interim pastor and soon-to-be-traveling theologian like Bob Hoem, it seems there's no place like someone else's home.
Two years ago this long-time Lutheran pastor stood on the porch of his home ensconced in a rural neighborhood of Washington state, clicked his ruby slippers and did a reverse Oz—leaving his own church home to take on the full-time job of pastoring two other congregations in Aberdeen, Washington. Hoem's mission was to help both churches transition to a new pastor. What Hoem didn't know was that he would soon be taking on a considerably more difficult challenge—that of convincing the two congregations that they needed to merge. And one of them, at least, was not about to go quietly into the night.
Their Synod, the Southwestern Washington ELCA, was reluctant to be in the position of having to force Trinity Lutheran, the smaller of the two  churches, to give up the ghost—especially since it had been around for longer than most of them had been alive. Yet even the larger church, Our Savior's, was on the verge of becoming as obsolete as the honky-tonks and gambling houses that once lined the sawdust-covered streets of this turn-of-the-century, logging boomtown. But booze and misspent fortunes could not turn out anything as tough as white-haired Lutheran ladies who, a century later, were about to be turned out of the only church home they had ever known. Newly installed interim Pastor Hoem had considerable empathy for their plight.
But the reality was that consolidation (the word "merger" is verboten in ELCA lingo) was inevitable if both churches were to survive. Trinity, the smaller of the two Lutheran churches, although "swimming in money" according to long-time member Dr. John Smith, was experiencing "only marginal growth." Our Savior's, on the other hand, had a larger building, but was facing both a decline in membership and financial hardship. Combining the strengths of both congregations seemed to make sense. Still it was hard to face the idea of consolidation, even though the climate for doing so had warmed considerably since the year before when talk of a merger set off a mini-revolution. . . THERE'S MORE!
Read the full story! — See how these two historic Aberdeen churches made the shift from trying to "hang on" to an exciting new vision for their ministry together, and what part Percept's ReVision and Context played in the process. . . -Jenni Keast
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