Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You are Invited to a Service of Prayer

You are Invited to a Service of Prayer as Bethlehem Lutheran Church transfers ownership of its building to the Oregon Synod

On Sunday, March 11th, the congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran will take a significant step forward together in hope and faith as they gather to mark the gifting of their church building to the Oregon Synod.  This special service begins at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 11th to celebrate what has been, to honor the journey the congregation has taken in this discernment and decision process, and to bless what will be.

You are invited and welcome to join them in this important moment in the life of their congregation and community.  I ask that you announce this special service, convey their invitation to your congregations, and in your communities hold them in your prayers and care as they take their next steps forward together. 

If you have questions, please address those to Pr. Solveig or Diane Hess, see emails above.  Please also see Diane's letter of invitation below. 

And he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.  And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey....."

Bishop David Brauer-Rieke
Pastor Solveig Nilsen-Gooden
Diane Hess, Bethlehem Council


Dear Cluster Partners and Friends of Bethlehem:

The Worshipping community of Bethlehem Lutheran Church is on a Journey – a journey of both the physical dimension (nesting with other congregations in our cluster) and of the spiritual dimension (exploring how to follow our call as a congregation). 

One part of the spiritual journey has come to a crossroads: we have decided to let go of the building that has housed our congregation for over one hundred years. On March 11, we will officially gift the building to the Synod, and mark this transition with a Service of Transfer on March 11 at 4:00 pm in the Bethlehem Lutheran Church building. 

At this service we will physically present the Bishop with the deed and our keys, with prayers, grief, hope, and joy. We will share communion and be commissioned as we take the first steps on the next phase of our journey. 

We invite you and your congregation to join us on this part of the path. Please join us as we walk through this crossroads onto the new territory of following Jesus in a way that is new for us.

I hope to see you there.


Diane Elliott Hess
(Council member, for the Bethlehem congregation)