The Heidelberg Lutheran and Holy Trinity Lutheran congregations joined together as a Parish in 1968 primarily to be able to individually afford a full time Lutheran pastor while maintaining each congregation’s century old identity. The Parish was formed with the agreement that the congregations would share a pastor who would serve both congregations at separate times each Sunday with service times agreed to by the congregations. Expenses for a secretary to serve the Pastor and the congregations are also included in the agreement.
Four decades later, with greatly diminished attendance and income, and unable to afford a shared full-time pastor, dissolution of the Parish allows both congregations the unencumbered opportunity to make a change(s) to improve the conditions within the congregations and continue to serve loyal members.
Following discussions within and between both Heidelberg and Holy Trinity Councils on possible dissolution of the Parish, guided by Interim Pastor Virginia Goodwin and with input from Assistant to the Bishop, Pastor Peggy Wuertele, members of both congregations were duly notified according to the timing requirements of the constitutions that there would be a vote taken on September 9, 2018 immediately following the Parish Church service at Heidelberg, to decide whether to maintain or dissolve the Parish agreement between these two congregations. A motion was made to dissolve the Parish effective on December 31, 2018 with the intent to continue to work together during the remaining months to work out the details for a smooth separation. Paper ballots were cast. The ballots were counted immediately. The tally was 38-yes, 9- no, one unmarked, and one abstention.