There have been many times over its 40 years of existence that the doors of Faith Lutheran, located at 988 Roosevelt Trail in Windham, were about to close. But then, as if by some miracle, its membership would increase, or the coffers would be filled to financially sustain operations.
|After facing many challenges in the past couple of years,
Faith Lutheran Chruch at 988 Roosevelt Trail in Windham
is experiencing a renewal of energy and excitement as
attendance increases and additional activities ignite
new breath. SUBMITTED PHOTO
But this is where church members keep their faith, and things have begun to turn around once again.
“There have been so many times in the past when we thought we would have to close our doors,” Marilyn Walsh, one of the founding members of Faith Lutheran, said. “But we never gave up. We all were determined to keep it going - come hell or high water. We feel very strongly that this is our church, and we will do all we can to keep it going. And this time is no different.”
“In addition to the increase of attendance, we are bringing back and adding new events and activities,” the President of Faith Lutheran’s Church Council, David Guiseley, said. “One event that the members are especially looking forward to is bringing back bible study.”
Faith Lutheran will begin a midweek Lenten bible study in conjunction with St. Ann’s Episcopal Church. It will be held at Faith Lutheran on Wednesdays, starting on March 1 and at St. Ann’s on Thursdays beginning March 2. The bible study will include the viewing of the drama series “The Chosen,” a 22-episode program about the life of Jesus. The evenings will also include soup.
“We are also looking forward to other ‘faith in action’ ministry work as well as new fundraising events,” Guiseley said.
The small church gives back to the community in significant ways. They are one of the founding members of the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing, they assist and contribute financially to St. Ann’s Essentials Pantry, donate items to communities in need through the Lutheran World Relief organization, and have assisted a homeless Congolese refugee family in Lewiston find an apartment. Recently, a team of four traveled to Englewood, Florida, to help with disaster relief due to one of the latest hurricanes.
“We are also excited to bring back the ecumenical weekly community meal programs that were very successful and popular before the pandemic,” Guiseley said.
Along with Faith Lutheran, other area churches, including St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Windham Hill United Church of Christ, and St. Anthony of Padua Parish (formerly known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help) will be bringing back the weekly free ‘food and fellowship’ meal program that will occur every Thursday.
The first weekly meal will be Thursday, Feb. 2, at Windham Hill United Church of Christ, 140 Windham Center Road, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Flyers that will include the lists of dates and locations for these weekly meals will be available at every participating church. Also, check out each church’s Facebook page for updated information.
Since the departure of the former pastor, Rev. Tim Higgins, the Rector of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church was approached by the Lutheran New England Synod (the governing entity for Faith Lutheran Church) to serve in a temporary capacity until the foreseeable future.
“Since Faith Lutheran and St. Ann’s have always worked closely together, the Synod asked me to be a Contact Priest for Faith,” Higgins said. “This entails attending church council meetings, providing hospital visits, being there for emergency calls, and other situations in which a clergy person is needed.”
The church has been grateful to retired Pastor Nancy Foran, Pastor Pam Brouker, and Lutheran Lay Minister Pam Chabora for their weekly communion celebrations and the leading of Sunday services. They also welcome their new Music Minister, Betty McIntyre, who has successfully reignited a choir.
Chabora and McIntyre have worked closely together to create various fundraising opportunities and special events. A Murder Mystery fundraising dinner will be coming soon during February. For more details on this event, contact Chabora at email@example.com
The renewed energy and increased attendance may be just a fluke, or perhaps the members of this small but mighty church that carry big and unending faith are where the true power lies.
“Faith is what brought us here, and faith is what keeps us going,” Walsh said.
For more information about Faith Lutheran Church, reach out to their Contact Priest, Rev. Tim Higgins at 207-892-8447 or firstname.lastname@example.org. <