Asbury United Methodist Church building will close in December — but the congregation will go on.
Pastor Andrew Wendle announced this week that the church, on State Street near 6th, will close Dec. 30, as it is too large and costly for the congregation to maintain.
“There are tears, but there is a feeling of joy, too,” said Wendle upon the prospect of closing the church, founded on the site in 1894. The final service in the church, “Bells of Christmas,” will be Dec. 30. On Dec. 8, the church will hold a Community Celebration upon the 100th anniversary of the Asbury sanctuary. The 10 a.m. event will honor the past while celebrating the present and moving to the future, according to Wendle.
On Jan. 1, Asbury and Our Redeemer Lutheran will begin functioning as one yoked worshiping body, creating a Covenant of Union that will be voted on in June 2013. This formalizes a partnership agreement that the members of both churches agreed to in 2010.
As of Jan. 6, 2013, the congregation will use the Our Redeemer building, 1140 Tucker Road, as its workshop center.
Currently the joined congregation is known as LAMP – Lutherans and Methodists in Partnership.