It was four years ago this month that the people of St. Thomas Episcopal and Peace Lutheran churches banded together under the banner “Episcopal Lutheran Ministry Sharing” to jointly call a Priest/Pastor.
This important event was celebrated Sunday, Sept. 30, with joint services at Peace followed by food and fellowship.
The Rev. Henry Siebert served the two congregations as Interim for one year during the extensive Call process. Clergy of both faiths were interviewed by an E.L.M.S. committee comprised of three members from each church. A Call went out to Lutheran minister Mike Wiechers in the summer of 2009. Fr./Pastor Mike and his wife Angie took up residence in the Peace parsonage in September of that year.
This ground breaking arrangement has worked well with the two churches alternating 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. service times every four months. Fifth Sundays are often celebrated together. In addition to their busy church schedules, both Wiechers have also taken on many other community-wide responsibilities. The E.L.M.S. alliance has been used as a model by several other congregations in the state.