Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. Amoco and British Petroleum. Redeemer and St. Paul?
It's not exactly Wall Street-style merger mania, but more and more ELCA congregations are discovering that merging with a nearby parish is a powerful way to strengthen themselves for mission. And while "yoked," or two-point, parishes have long been a fixture in rural areas, the trend has begun catching on in metropolitan areas. Migration to the suburbs of traditionally Lutheran ethnic groups — such as Germans, Swedes and Norwegians — weakened old congregations to the point where they could provide little more than basic pastoral care to a dwindling number of parishioners.
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