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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Churches share more than peace

Jane Rothman loves her job as a pastor so much that she may soon take on another church. Actually, Rothman’s decision speaks more of necessity than an overzealous urge to preach.

Now pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran in rural Lancaster, Kan., Rothman, 51, is considering a position at nearby St. John Lutheran Church in Bendena, according to The Kansas [Mo.] City Star. By combining jobs, Rothman will earn a decent wage and help the two churches share a pastor they couldn’t afford on their own. Particularly in rural areas, where churches are too small to pay a full-time salary and pastors are in short supply, many Lutheran congregations find themselves sharing more than the peace on Sundays.

The Roman Catholic Church and other Protestant denominations, including Presbyterian and United Methodist churches, face similar challenges. Money for mission and outreach is scarce when churches must scrape budgets just to pay clergy and keep buildings open.

For Rothman, taking on another congregation may prove rewarding—but meeting the spiritual demands of the church promises to be a challenge.


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