It is with heavy, but hopeful hearts that we announce Trinity Lutheran Church in Lakewood has closed our doors with a service of Holy Closure on June 11. The service was led by the Rev. Dr. Laura Barbins, Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the ELCA, and Trinity’s transition pastor, Rev. Barbara Holzhauser. 

Our congregation had financial hardships for many years, but somehow the Spirit kept us moving forward. Through prayerful discernment, we realized it was better to spend our remaining dollars furthering God’s kin-dom instead of keeping our own doors open. As a congregation, we chose to honor our missions and endow our remaining funds to the organizations that most represent our core values. 

The largest gifts will be made to Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries to support their work to serve and advocate with youth, people involved in the criminal justice system, vulnerable adults, and people who are homeless. Trinity is a Reconciling in Christ Congregation, and as such, we value the lives of our LBGTQIA+ friends. Part of our outreach will continue with gifts to Reconciling Works and the Cleveland LGBT Center in Gordon Square. The 66th Synod Reparations fund will also be a recipient of funds to further its work with BIPOC leaders and racial justice. 

Other ministries receiving gifts will be Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Ohio, Northeast Ohio Synod for ministry in Lakewood, Good Soil Lutheran Church for hunger relief ministry in Lakewood and surrounding areas, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation, Lakewood Community Services Center, North Coast Men’s Chorus, and Windsong: a Feminist Chorus. 

Our mission of feeding our neighbors through our third Saturday produce distribution will continue as people living out the Word and with the support of Lakewood Congregational Church in Lakewood who will continue to provide the space for this ministry. 

“To everything there is a season. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to laugh, a time to weep.” Ecclesiastes 3:1. After 111 years in Lakewood, Trinity Lutheran says goodbye and God bless.