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February 25, 2021
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IMMANUEL LUTHERAN
(2007-10-29)
(wgvu) - AS CONSTRUCTION BUSTLES ALONG GRAND RAPIDS MEDICAL MILE, AN OLD STONE CHURCH AT THE BOTTOM OF MICHIGAN STREET SITS UNFLINCHING.
IMMANUEL LUTHERAN CHURCH WAS BUILT IN 1890, COPING WITH A NEW LIFE AND FACING THE CHALLENGE OF ITS SECOND CENTURY.
NEIGHBORHOOD CHANGE CAN BE THE BANE OF EXISTANCE FOR A CHURCH. BUT FOR IMMANUEL'S PASTOR TIM VERITY, THE WATCHWORD IS ADAPT.
ONCE THE CENTER OF LIFE FOR GERMAN IMMIGRANTS, MUCH OF ITS CONGREGATION NOW COMMUTES FROM THE SUBURBS. AS PART OF THAT ADAPTING, A NEW MINISTRY CENTER WILL REPLACE THE SCHOOL IN THE SPRING.
AS THE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS CHANGED, SO HAS IMMANUEL LUTHERAN...AND ITS MISSION. VERITY SAYS BESIDES THE SUNDAY AND MID WEEK WORSHIP SERVICES, THEY WILL FOCUS ON DEVELOPING NEW OUTREACH MINISTRIES, ESPECIALLY FOR MEDICAL WORKERS ON THE HILL.
VERITY SAYS ACCESS TO PATIENTS IN NEED OF PASTORAL CARE HAS BEEN SHARPLY CURTAILED BY PRIVACY LAWS.
AND ALTHOUGH IT NO LONGER DRAWS ITS CONGREGATION FROM THE IMMEDIATE NEIGHBORHOOD, VERITY HOPES THE CHURCH WILL TAKE ON A NEW AND EXPANDED ROLE, MINISTERING TO SPIRITUAL NEEDS EVEN AS THE VARIOUS HEALTH INSITUTIONS ON THE HILL FOCUS ON THE PHYSICAL.

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