A Journey into God’s Future
The Story of Joint Ministry
Beginning in January of 2010, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and Asbury United Methodist Church began exploring what it would mean to enter into a formal arrangement to share pastoral services between our two congregations. Building upon the ecumenical sharing agreement between our two parent organizations (the United Methodist Church – UMC, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America –ELCA), Our Redeemer’s and Asbury’s joint ministry agreement both solidified the future for our two congregations and created new opportunities for mission and ministry. In November 2013, we began functioning together as one congregation as the Asbury Our Redeemer Partnership. In December 2015, we things official, becoming one congregation with two denominations, and in June 2016 we adopted our name: Spirit of Grace. We are excited about this collaborative ministry and ways that God is calling us to do church in a new way.
Each of our parents congregations has a storied history of involvement and commitment in the Columbia Gorge area.
- Our Redeemer – having celebrated its 50-year anniversary – has long been a place that has supported such local outreach organizations as the FISH food bank, the Sunrise Organization and most recently AmeriCorps workers in our area.
- Asbury – a presence in Hood River for over 125 years – has also strongly supported the FISH food bank in addition to its regular commitments to advocate for the “least of these” within our midst including standing with those of Japanese decent after WWII when such actions were not a popular thing to do.
In addition to these activities and ministries, this congregation has been, and continues to be, a place where God’s light and love can be seen, felt and heard by our members and the community alike.
We are thankful to God for leading us through this process of coming together and establishing a shared identity. A we recognize that this is just the beginning of what is planning for us in this place. We continue to listen for God’s calling and seek to step out courageously in ministry with our world.
We invite you to journey with us as we go forward!
We are not just called to be candles. Candles make for nice Christmas services and for a nice peace vigil. They can remind us that God’s light dwells within us and that we are to shine that light in this dark world. But we are not just called to be candles. We are called to be fire. Candles can be snuffed out by the slightest wind or by the smallest child on their birthday. But it’s harder to put out a fire. We are to be fire, to weave our lives together so that the Spirit’s inferno of love spreads across the earth. -Shane Claiborne