from the Atonement-Our Savior’s Chimes Messenger

Some have been wondering where we are on our new mutual journey with one another. Are we merging? Will we get to vote?

The answer to the first question is that the journey seems to be going well. There are adjustments to be made. Atonement’s sanctuary has taken on a few of the Lenten liturgical pieces from Our Savior’s, and most people seem to enjoy them. Our Savior’s folks are adjusting to some of Atonement’s more formal ways and our neo-gothic sanctuary. Everyone is sensing some sense of greater vitality in worship with more people in the pews and some new people to meet.

FW-SbldgsYou’ve been really able to see the difference now that some of the snowbirds are trickling back home. Another benefit to both congregations has been the multiplying of congregational leadership.

There have been changes. Perhaps the biggest change is the renting of the Our Savior’s mansion and shared use of the sanctuary to Harbor Rock Tabernacle. The income will help us to cover the Our Savior’s building expenses. It has also meant that the mansion has had to have been emptied out. Some of Our Savior’s mansion contents have come over to Atonement; some have been stored in the basement; some have been given away; and not a small amount has been disposed of because it was not in suitable condition.

The Our Savior’s office has moved over to Atonement (the Our Savior’s secretary is working with the Atonement staff and being paid by Our Savior’s). The Spark program (for children) has been yoked with Atonement’s Tower program and moved to Atonement. As a part of Spark, we are now doing a Thursday night service at 6:30 p.m. aimed toward children, but open to everyone.

The two meal sites hosted by Our Savior’s remain at Our Savior’s, as does the food pantry.

Aren’t we going to merge? We think there may be wisdom in waiting. The vision put forth last summer, although not yet approved by the FaithWorks Mission Council, calls all the FaithWorks congregations to come together as a single body in several sites, better able to missionally focus our common resources together. That would mean a merger. Since, however, since there is a cost, both financially and with regard to the effort required to make a merger happen, we have decided that at this point, we should find stronger union with each other.

A group consisting of members from both Atonement and Our Savior’s councils has been formed to create the covenant, and we hope that it will be signed sometime early this summer.