December 11, 2008

To our brothers and sisters in Christ at Luther Theological Seminary,

Grace and peace to you. It is with both joy and some sadness that we present to you our thanks for the many years, and the many Sundays, during which we have met in your facilities. The Chapel of the Cross, the foyer, and the classrooms of the Northwest Administration Building have served us well for worship, Christian education and fellowship, as have the kitchen and dining room of Stubb Hall on the few occasions they were rented. We have always understood that we are a church built of people, and of their character, covenants and ministry capabilities: and yet visible, physical matters of space and architecture can help or hinder our formation as Christians, and in community. The care for beauty, and the attention to maintenance, to which Luther's facilities attest, have enriched our congregation's life.

Of most importance has been the relationship with persons at Luther Seminary, who have entrusted us with the use of their facilities, and who answered our calls for help and information, sometimes even at inopportune times of urgent necessity. At times we have also benefitted from the presence and the preaching of seminary faculty, students and visiting scholars. For these and many more reasons, we experience some sadness mixed in with our gratitude in the course of our transition to new facilities.

Our own experience of searching for and finding new space has been, overall, a blessing and a means of focusing and revitalizing our missional engagement with the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Through it we are finding more local partners, some of them in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, such as Messiah Lutheran Church of Minneapolis, whose sanctuary we are now renting. It has also led us to a place of heightened visibility in a new community where we can both share and receive. For that we are both grateful and joyful.

Given this history, we can warmly recommend Luther Seminary and its facilities to any other persons, conferences or congregations wishing to use your space. We hope and pray that the sanctuary and the classrooms we have used will prove fruitful to other church planting efforts, and will help form many other new congregations and church leaders, whom we will count as our partners in God's kingdom. For that is what you have been for us: partners in God's kingdom.

May God bless Luther Theological Seminary, its faculty, staff and students, and all churches and leaders emerging from its midst.

In Christ,

Pastor Mathew Swora and Emmanuel Mennonite Church



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