When a congregation faces tough choices, some take stock of their assets and vision and elect to make a bold move toward the future. This bold move may be to “Close as Act of Mission,” embraced in a time of both sadness and hope.

 A Story of Bethany Lutheran in Forestville

On February 27, 2011, Bethany Lutheran Church in Forestville, Md., made that choice, voting unanimously to “close as an act of mission.” Although the synod is saddened by the closing of Bethany, it rejoices in the congregation’s 59 years of ministry and witness.

Bethany has designated profit from the sale of its building to be used for mission. Minutes from the congregational meeting read:

“The congregation would decide together on giving away 10% of the assets to non-profit/ministries of its choosing. The remainder would go to the [Metro D.C.] Synod which would help further the work of the Gospel by giving 10% of the resource to the ELCA, and 90% would be used to start new congregations and redevelop existing congregations on the territory of the [synod].”

The Metro D.C. Synod is enormously grateful to the congregation for its generosity and thoughtfulness in giving to mission in our synod, and it joins with Bethany in prayer for new people who will come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of Bethany’s generosity.

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