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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

New life for Resurrection Church after finding new home » Local News » The Free Press, Mankato, MN

New life for Resurrection Church after finding new home » Local News » The Free Press, Mankato, MN:

New life for Resurrection Church after finding new home
By Brian Ojanpa
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — Church council secretary Phil Wold says, “It’s an absolute windfall for us,” and pastor Gregory Lenz is even more effusive:

“When I walk in this building, I pinch myself and say, ‘Is this really happening?’”

The 18-month-old Resurrection Lutheran Church in Mankato, which held its first gathering in a hotel, has secured permanent residence in a structure that couldn’t be more suitable for its needs.

When the 140-year-old First Christian Church folded due to dwindling membership, Resurrection members jumped at the chance to occupy the fully furnished East Main Street building, which was built in 1962 and includes a 1977 addition.

Lenz describes the commingling of congregations — about 20 former First Christian members became part of 80-member Resurrection — as a marriage made in heaven because of the win-win nature of the building transaction.

“Our pledge to First Christian was that we would keep it as a church,” Lenz said of the non-traditional real estate deal.

Resurrection is purchasing the building and spacious grounds for $120,000, payable at a rate of $1,000 a month for 10 years.

The church is among similar congregations in the United States that separated from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America over conflicts involving — but not limited to — the denomination’s 2009 decision to allow non-celibate homosexuals to serve as clergy.

Wold and fellow congregants hesitate to label churches such as Resurrection as “breakaway” factions. Rather, they contend the ELCA  broke from its moorings with its liberal drift away from biblical teachings.

“We basically regard ourselves as conforming to what the Bible teaches,” Wold said.

Another separatist church, Christ the King Lutheran in Waseca, formed in 2009 for the same reasons.

Resurrection formed when Lutherans from Mankato, Mapleton and St. Peter gathered in mutual disapproval of ELCA actions.

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