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When One (Church) Door Closes, Another (Church) Door Opens!

Holy Closure at Grace Evangelical Lutheran San Francisco, CA

Have you ever wondered what happens when a church decides that they are ready to close their doors? And how the closing of one door could possibly lead to the opening of other church doors?

We call these Holy Closures! A Holy Closure is the process a congregation and their community undergo when they have come to the conclusion that the original mission of that worshiping community has concluded their mission. When this conclusion is made, congregations may choose to sell their building, gift property to the synod, or perhaps take a new approach.

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in San Francisco, CA is one congregation that is walking through the process of Holy Closure - but in a rather unique way. This worshiping community has found a way to support the mission and ministry of other congregations in our Synod with resources from their congregation.

When the congregation began the process of selling their building and distributing assets, there grew a deep desire for the spirit of the congregation to live on through support of other congregations.

What does this look like?

Grace Evangelical Council Treasurer Shelley Carroll began writing a list of all of the items the church was looking to give to others: bookcases, cleaning supplies, a baptismal font, paraments, tables, a refrigerator, and so much more. As of last week, 15 congregations, mission partners or ecumenical organizations in our Synod had received gifts from Grace Evangelical to help further their ministry.

Here’s a peek into where some of the items from Grace