from the October Chimes Messenger
On September 14, something changed. It might not seem like a big deal, but it does reflect a change in who we are. On that day, the congregations of Our Savior’s and Atonement voted to covenant together to act as if they are one congregation.
The main thing that changed was our intent to be one entity. We agreed to operate with a single joint council for all matters that concern us jointly while maintaining separate councils to be in compliance with our constitutions and to handle individual financial issues.
We agreed to full sharing of financial information and other congregational matters, but will retain separate budgets and financial structures. Atonement pastors were officially called to serve as Our Savior’s pastors; and should a pastoral vacancy occur, both congregations will work together to determine pastoral needs and call a new pastor if that is deemed necessary.
We will hereafter be known as Atonement Our Savior’s for our normal (non-corporate) life. The covenant commits us to sharing resources, but building responsibilities and ownership remain separate. Because of the ongoing FaithWorks conversations which may be leading us to a broader union, we decided not to pursue merger at this point, but the intent of the covenant is to allow us to act as one entity to as great a degree as possible.
Something to celebrate!
Our Savior’s Votes to Put Property on Market
In a logical, courageous, and unanimous decision, the congregation of Our Savior’s voted to allow the congregation’s council to place the property on Washington Avenue on the market. Undoubtedly, every member of Our Savior’s feels some pain over this decision, but it was explained that maintaining the property will be financially burdensome and potentially ruinous. Selling the building allows for the missional use of that resource, creating new wineskins for a new world.
Several steps need to be taken. The building needs to be appraised in the commercial real estate market and a selling price determined. Harbor Rock, as part of their new one-year lease, has the right of first offer. This means that if they choose, they can make an offer on the property first, before it is placed on the market. The council is then authorized to negotiate and approve a sale, without further congregational vote.