We have two ELCA congregations in Garland and this morning was my first worship visit for both. Both of them worship at the building owned by Gloria Dei, which made the dual visit possible.
Ascension sold their building a couple of years ago and have been worshipping in the fellowship hall at Gloria Dei ever since. The congregation will has a faithful few who still worship regularly while they continue to also faithfully disburse the assets from the sale of the building. They are carefully making those decisions based upon the mission of the church and leadership development. Their plan is to dissolve the congregation within the next year as that mission is finished.
Ascension has been led for the last year by Pr. Kathryn McCord as this interim pastor. Gloria Dei was being served by Pr. Chuck Hubbard, who recently retired after 23 years there. So Pr. McCord is now the interim pastor for both congregations.
Today I was able to preach for worship and then stay for part of a congregational forum to talk about the transition time and call process. Then it was on to another part of my job – Candidacy! Since I was close to Mesquite, it provided a good opportunity to meet with a young man from our Mesquite congregation who is interested in going to seminary to pursue ordained ministry.
From a congregation planning an intentional end to a congregation in a current time of discernment to a young man hoping to be a leader of the church in the future. Today covered all parts of the spectrum. My job is sure fulfilling!