New Lutherans vote for Grantsburg

Monday, March 29th, 2010 at 6:54 am

New Hope photo 1

(By Wayne Anderson)

A traditional group of Lutherans, who separated from area churches over the contentious homosexual issue last summer, voted on Palm Sunday to relocate their congregation to Grantsburg.

In a vote of 50 to 41, members of New Hope Lutheran Church decided to move from the school auditorium in Siren to the Mark Harmon building on State Road 70.

The congregation plans to build a traditional church building in the Grantsburg area in about two years.

Church leaders said they will file a B-2 conditional use permit with the Grantsburg village for the Harmon building. The approval could come by April 27. They plan to enter into a two-year lease with Harmon.

Aside from fixing pot holes in the parking area there is no foreseeable reason the village board would decline the permit, said Mark Dahlberg, a trustee on the village board.

The majority decided on Grantsburg because of the opportunity to continue to grow in the future, said Terry Swenson, church leader. Church collections and attendance have steadily grown since they formed New Hope.

People from five area churches left their home congregations beginning last August when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted at their national assembly to ordain practicing gay and lesbian ministers in a “committed relationship.”

That decision, along with some other non-traditional theologies, has caused many churches and individuals across the country to quit the synod, saying these decisions go against the Scripture and traditional Lutheran teachings.

In addition, the ELCA is reporting contributions from churches in Polk and Burnett counties, as well as across the nation, are down as members withhold funds in protest over the controversial decision.

For more information on New Hope Lutheran Church, call: 715-689-2839.

(Photo by Patzy Wenthe)

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