9 Months ago I sat with Pastor Paul, Lead Pastor of Elim church as he brought up a brave question. A few months later, the Elim leadership team officially invited the Mill City leadership team into a discernment process about an “adoption merger”.
This was deeply courageous because this would mean that Elim’s community would continue on – and join in to the Mill City Church community. But it would also mean Elim Church as a legal entity would end. It would mean an amazing opportunity for both communities to make an impact for the Kingdom of God if they joined Mill City. But it also meant a huge change, grief and loss (for both churches in different ways).
Mill City responded to the invitation to discern as leaders and then eventually as a whole church community. For almost 4 months we dug deep into feasibility, prayed with each other, listened to each other, asked really challenging questions and considered the church mission over our individual preferences.
On Sunday, December 18th, both churches voted YES by an overwhelming majority (over 90% for each church)!
In mid January we will join together as one.
I am praying for every single Elim community member because we really hope they will all consider officially joining Mill City in 2023 – but also because I can’t imagine the depth of loss they must be feeling. While we commit to consistently celebrating the legacy of the 135 year old faith community – it is the end of something beautiful that God has done. Yet we serve Jesus who says, “I am making all things new” – so we trust that new and meaningful life will come from this new beginning!
Please pray for us! In many ways, we have only just begun the work. Pray for unity, for growing trust, but most of all, that we would be able to serve Jesus better together than we could a part. That we would be compelled to live out our mission in powerful ways: to love our community in the name of Jesus!