The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Ecumenism: Elder care

Seniors benefit from the ecumenical impulse too. Lutherans and Episcopalians built housing for low-income seniors at Tri-Cities Terrace East, Richland, Wash.

All Saints Episcopal, Richland Lutheran and members of the former Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church formed a coalition called Shalom Ecumenical Center. Together they developed donated land into a residence for 60 seniors.

Working with many volunteers, as well as with federal and Episcopal grants, they’ve assured that the seniors will pay no more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities for 40 years to come. Next they plan to build housing for low-income, developmentally disabled adults.

Martin Wells, bishop of the ELCA Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, says that by “responding to the call of common mission,” the congregations “learned the enormous potential for leveraging personal commitment, a small amount of seed money, the generosity of land donors and the cooperation of builders into spectacular projects.”


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