To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to the article from April 14, 2022, about the sale of the Aldersgate United Methodist Church property.

As the pastor of Aldersgate UMC, there are just a couple things I want to clear up and make known. First, while “dwindling attendance” has been a factor, it is not the only reason for our decision to sell and relocate. As the landscape of what it means to be a church continues to radically change, we have discerned that our current building and grounds simply are not an efficient nor effective use of resources. Ministry today is far more mobile and scattered than in the past. So less space and shared space with another Christian community with whom we share values is not merely a financial decision, but a missional one.

While the article did not say this, I just want to be clear that Aldersgate UMC is not closing. We are changing, and seeking new and more effective ways to be vessels of love, peace, hope and justice in our community, and we believe that renting space from and sharing some ministry with another Christian community will enable us to do that not merely more efficiently but also effectively. But this was also a difficult decision. We have loved being in the Elmwood Neighborhood for over 70 years, and while we are thrilled about more workforce housing in St. Louis Park, we also understand our beloved neighbors’ concerns. We wish we could make ministry work in this changing world right where we are, but this is a move we feel we simply must make.

Once the dust literally and figuratively settles on the project, it is our deepest hope and prayer that current Elmwood neighbors will come to find great new neighbors at 3801 Wooddale Ave.

Pastor Paul Baudhuin

St. Louis Park

Paul Baudhuin is pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in St. Louis Park.

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