Members of Bethany Lutheran Church in Forestville, Md., faced their decision in February 2011 to “close as an act of mission” with prayerful planning. A letter received on August 3, 2012 by the Metro D.C. Synod office assures us that their reflective approach is appreciated and will bear fruit for years to come.
Profits from the sale of Bethany’s building were designated by the congregation at the time for use in mission. “On behalf of those whose lives will be impacted through the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I want to express my deep gratitude to [Bishop Richard H. Graham] and the members of Bethany Lutheran Church for that portion of the proceeds from the sale of their property given to the work of the ELCA,” wrote the Rev. A. Craig Settlage, ELCA Director for Mission Support.
“I want to personally thank you for the decision to tithe the money given to the synod for churchwide ministries,” said Pr. Settlage addressing Bishop Graham. The check shared with the ELCA’s Churchwide expression totaled $158,850. “This legacy gift will further enable our church to do God’s work,” he wrote.