Letters to the Editor

Letter | Redeemer Lutheran to remain in ministry, never accepted offer on property

Over the last few months a number of people have expressed their views about a possible sale of Redeemer Lutheran Church property to the Mercer Island School District. There were many assumptions and there has been no small amount of speculation about this.

To clarify any misunderstandings, we wish to say that at no time did we determine or communicate that we would sell our property to anyone. At no time were we in negotiation over a sale price. Last fall we received an unsolicited offer to buy our property. As faith communities do, we asked ourselves, “What is God telling us?” We needed time to discern among ourselves the answer to that question, as well as to other questions.

Between the time that we were approached to sell, and now, we considered what selling or staying would mean for our life as a congregation. We also prayerfully considered the desires and needs of the Mercer Island School District, our neighbors, and the Mercer Island community. Essentially, we sought to better understand our longstanding history on Mercer Island, our future in God’s Kingdom, and our witness to the community with the Gospel of Christ Jesus.

After much thoughtful deliberation we unanimously, as a congregation, have declined the Mercer Island School District offer to purchase our property. We will remain in ministry where we are on Mercer Island. This was a very personal decision regarding the future of our church, and we are stepping out in faith that our chosen path will have a positive effect for our community.

We are grateful for the kind and considerate communications and treatment we have received from the Mercer Island School District and its leadership, as well as from our neighbors, and from our valued companions —clergy and lay — in the other churches on Mercer Island. Under no circumstances do we want our decision to be understood as any kind of a political statement regarding the $196M bond measure. We pray that all those who labor in public service and in private life to improve living on Mercer Island, including the education of its children, will find common ground and progress positively into the future.

As one of many fine faith communities on Mercer Island, we at Redeemer extend a sincere invitation to all who might wish to know us better. We welcome your questions, your prayers, and most of all your presence.

Questions and inquiries can be sent to Redeemer Lutheran Church: office@redeemerlutheranmi.org or (206) 232-1711.

Susan Griesse

On behalf of Redeemer Lutheran Church

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