Members of a local congregation will celebrate their church's growth as they begin to worship in a new sanctuary on Sunday, Feb. 3.
Saucon Community Bible Fellowship Church has entered into an agreement to share space with Christ Lutheran Church of Lower Saucon, and that's a good thing, according to Pastor Tim Zuck.
Zuck, who leads the Bible Fellowship congregation, said continued growth led to the recent decision to vacate the Saucon Valley Community Center in Hellertown, where worship services have been held since the church's founding in 2000.
"The community center served our needs well for many years, but now is the time to move on," he said, adding that the move to CLC-LS will also likely be temporary, as SCBF would "very much...like to have our (own) facility in the future, whether we purchase an existing facility or build."
In the meantime, "we will have the opportunity to worship in a facility that can accommodate expected future growth" by almost doubling SCBF's seating capacity at the community center, Zuck said.
According to Zuck, SCBF has about 45 members and "a weekly attendance which hovers near 100."
The new partnership between the two congregations officially kicked off with an "Eat, Meet, Greet and Tour" event at CLC-LS on Sunday, Jan. 20.
About 100 people attended, and SCBF members had the opportunity to become acquainted with the history and layout of their new spiritual home.
The members of both congregations also met one another, putting names with faces.
Rev. Lisa Borrell, who is pastor of Christ Lutheran, said she believes the space-sharing arrangement--which was approved by a nearly unanimous church vote in November--will "bring a new vitality and energy to CLC-LS."
In spite of the fact that Christ Lutheran Church of Lower Saucon is--at more than 200 years old--historic compared with the SCBF church, Borrell said both she and Christ Lutheran's Congregational Council saw commonalities between the two congregations.
In addition to their membership in the Hellertown Area Ministerium (HAM), a local council of religious institutions, "both congregations...seek to provide meaningful, uplifting worship and Christian learning experiences," she commented.
Borrell said "an added positive is that CLC-LS will be receiving additional funds from the rental agreement (with SCBF) which, in these challenging economic times, will aid in supporting their missions and ministries."
SCBF will hold its worship service at 9am on Sundays, with their Sunday School classes beginning at 10:45am.
CLC-LS's Sunday School will begin at 9:30am, and the congregation will hold its worship service at 10:45am.
"With a little patience and some initial assistance in the parking lot, everyone should be accommodated nicely," Borrell said.
"While the two congregations will each maintain their own denominational identities, they do look forward to learning from each other's traditions and sharing in some common fellowship experiences," she added.