Cleansing Fire

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Lutheran Churches in Webster to Cluster

November 22nd, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

It’s not only the Catholic Church who is clustering parishes. Two local Lutheran churches in the town of Webster will also be sharing a single pastor:

“Two suburban Lutheran churches have agreed to share a pastor and work together on several programs.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1767 Plank Road, Penfield, and St. Martin Lutheran Church, 813 Bay Road, Webster, held a worship celebration at 2 p.m. Sunday at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 131 W. Main St., Webster, where a covenant agreement was signed.

Both congregations will continue as separate entities, but, in addition to sharing a pastor, will cooperate on programs, services and projects.

The Bethlehem congregation is currently served by part-time pastor the Rev. Richard Klafehn, while the Rev. Dwight Wascom, also a part-time pastor, serves St. Martin.

Each church now has about 100 members. [Just think… if this were the DoR, these churches would have been closed years ago. Last week, the Diocese “closed” down a church in St. Thomas the Apostle that was drawing almost 500 people per weekend]

Source: Democrat & Chronicle

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10 Responses to “Lutheran Churches in Webster to Cluster”

  1. avatar Faithful says:

    Maybe if Catholics were as generous in the offerings as Lutheran’s are, bishops might think twice about closing and or merging small congregations.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    To Faithful, Catholics are often generous when given the opportunity to save their parish or school. It is the opportunity that is too often thwarted by our bishop.

    As far as these Lutheran churches go, from what I’ve heard over the years living in Webster, I believe this sharing has to do with sharing the expense of a pastor rather than a lack of availability of clergy.

  3. avatar Monk says:

    Faithful, you have to be kidding….Catholics are the most generous group of people the world has ever seen!

  4. avatar Faithful says:

    Anonymous,

    That is just the point: Why does it take the threat of a parish merger or consolidation before the people will step up to the plate and give? They should have been giving regardless. It should not take the threat of a possible closure to get their attention.

  5. avatar Faithful says:

    Monk,

    Catholics might be generous, but not typically with their finances towards the Church. (The south is an exception becasue many of the people in the south are converts from Protestantism and therefore continue to tithe, etc when they become Catholic.) This statistic is well known. As a whole Catholics are one of the wealthiest group of religious people in the country, and yet give the LEAST in the offering. Protestants on the other hand come in second to Catholics in terms of wealth, and yet are far more generous.

    There are books written on this very subject, one of them being “Why Catholics Don’t Give, and What Can be Done About it.”

    I am surprised this is news to you. I thought this was well known.

  6. avatar Anonymous says:

    Faithful, it is human nature to give more and more willingly to what you believe in and/or are passionate about. I can’t speak for other areas of the country as I’ve lived here all my life, but after all these years, Bishop Clark still hasn’t seemed to learn this. He has his agenda and when people want to give their money elsewhere, he cuts off elsewhere and keeps expecting people will still give the money blindly, now to his pet projects instead. It just doesn’t work that way. You’d think he’d have finally learned from that church on the west side he actually showed mercy to, is it Holy Name of Jesus? They seem to hit their CMA goal almost immediately now.

    If their is a difference with the prostestants, I suppose it is probably the lack of heirarchy administratively above the parish level. If you like your parish and have an attachment to it, you give. You don’t have to worry about where the money is being funneled away to and for what. Not that I’m arguing against the administrative structure of the Catholic Church, but when you consider its human nature for people to relate to their parish, I know our bishop could do a lot better in how he handle things administratively.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    Monk,

    I’m sorry to report that Faithful has a point.

    U.S. Catholics, as a group, donate less to their church than most religious people. This data shows the numbers for 20+ years ago. I’ve seen more recent data (~2005) that was quite similar but I can’t seem to find it just now.

  8. avatar Monk says:

    Mike, I wasn’t just referring to donations to their local parish or local church. I am referring to the bigger picture of all the good that has come from Catholics through the centuries. Most of this good has come from the financial donations of millions of Catholics. Their financial donations have influenced civilization for generations. Their concern for the poor, the hospitals, catholic schools and higher educational opportunities for many, Knights of Columbus, etc etc. I know of many Catholics that may have concerns about their local church but still donate considerable resources to other Catholic organizations both locally, nationally, and internationally. The protestants are newcomers to all this. This is what I am talking about……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs6qZd_xP1w

  9. avatar Monk says:

    One point that people are missing is that the Catholic church doesn’t operate like protestant churches. Protestants often hire and fire their pastors. The pastor needs to be supported in a way that allows him or her to support a family and live a fairly secular life. Priests have always been called to an austere lifestyle if not poverty. There is a hierarchy in the Catholic church that doesn’t exist for most protestant churches and Catholics have always been encouraged to support not only their parish but also the poor, disenfranchised etc. Also, if finances are the reason for closing churches why are they closing a church, (St. Thomas), that had close to 1/2 million dollars in cash reserves and leaving open churches with heavy debt?


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