was formed as a unique joint venture between
Bethany Evangelical Lutheran
Grace United Methodist
Churches of Norway
for the purposes of sharing the expenses and mission opportunities
of a joint facility, yet remaining separate denominational entities.
And now with the passage of time, having shared the facility for over two years,
we are all discovering God's purpose and the real benefits of our joint venture.
We share each others differences, we share each others pain,
we share each others joys, but most of all we share each others love!
We are bound in faith and love as a family!
All in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Alleluia!
CROSSROAD'S CALENDAR OF EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
B-Bethany Lutheran Events
G-Grace United Methodist Events
O-Other Non-Church Events going on in the building
(CLICK ON CALENDAR IMAGE)
Bethany Lutheran members include:
Ray Anderson (Vice-President), Peter Kivisaari (Secretary)
† Built on the Firm Foundation of Faith †
The congregations of Bethany Lutheran and Grace United Methodist churches of Norway know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God always finds a way!
Together they consecrated and celebrated the completion of a a $1.2 million church construction project, known as "Crossroads Alliance" in September 2009. The project was done primarily with volunteer labor and included a "Great Room", classrooms, offices, kitchen, storage, youth space, a community pantry, a conference room and bathrooms.
Most of the cadre of volunteers who showed up each day armed with hammers, drills, saws and determination, were in the 65-80 age range. Women from both congregations cooked and brought meals to the work-site daily. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and shared vision. Both skills and friendships grew. A bounty of gifts poured in, taking many forms, from an outpouring of time and talents, to monetary contributions, corporate grants, discounts on materials, equipment use, words of encouragement and many, many prayers.
It has truly been a pilgrim journey for both churches whose histories date back to 1879 and 1880 when they were established to nurture the faith of the area's Swedish, English and Norwegian immigrants.
The seeds for the project were sewn in 1999 when Dan Olson of Norway assembled the pastors of the Evangelical Covenant, Grace United Methodist, Bethany Lutheran and First Baptist churches to announce the gift of 36 acres of land to be used to build new facilities for ministry and outreach. Each church received a beautiful parcel and a remaining parcel was gifted to the city as the site for a new Jake Menghini Historical Museum. A corporation was established to manage and oversee the land gift and is known as "Cornerstone Ministries."
The Evangelical Covenant Church was the first to build at the new location and Bethany and Grace began considering new buildings but were concerned about the financial burdens involved for their small congregations. The necessity for thinking out of the box caused a new, intriguing possibility to emerge. Could two churches maintain their own individual congregations and identities but construct and share the same building? It was an idea fraught with both unique challenges and unprecedented opportunities.
After much study and planning and support from both congregations, ground was broken in June 2008. The road has not always been easy, but we have discovered that our oneness in Christ far exceeds our differences. We sincerely believe that God called us to take these bold and innovative steps. We have built together on a firm foundation of faith. Thanks be to God!!