Something New Is Growing In Lakewood & Rocky River

Bishop Abraham Allende

There’s a new ministry in town: Good Soil Lutheran Ministries is one of the newest congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), created through the consolidation of Faith Lutheran Church in Lakewood and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Rocky River.

A community celebration of the new congregation will be held Saturday, February 24, beginning with a worship service at 10:30 a.m. that will begin Lakewood and conclude in Rocky River, followed by a chili cook-off lunch.

Bishop Abraham D. Allende of the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the ELCA will preach and will install the Rev. Mark Rollenhagen as the first pastor of Good Soil.

The cook-off is supported by Thrivent Financial, and donations – welcomed, but not required -- will support Good Soil’s work in the community.

All are welcome to the celebration – and to walk off that chili at a 3 p.m. “Holy Hike," one of the ministries supported by Good Soil.

The name of the new congregation is rooted in the Biblical parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) and emphasizes that Good Soil purpose of providing opportunities for people to grow in their relationship with God and one another.

Good Soil will maintain campuses at 16511 Hilliard Road, Lakewood (the former Faith building) and at 20300 Hilliard Blvd., in Rocky River (the former Our Savior’s building), where it is exploring potential uses for an acre of vacant land.

The Lakewood campus is also known as the Lakewood Abbey, providing co-work and office space for organizations involved in community health and well-being. The Rocky River campus is home to Meals on Wheels, serving both Rocky River and Lakewood, and Suburban Co-Op Preschool. Both campus also offer venues for community events.

Good Soil’s Sunday morning worship services are held at 10 a.m. – in Rocky River on Sundays falling on odd dates and in Lakewood on even dates. It also holds the only monthly pet-friendly worship service in Northeast Ohio at 2 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month at the Lakewood campus.

Good Soil is an inclusive congregation that conducts its affairs and manages the Lakewood Abbey and all of its facilities and community affairs with the following Affirmation of Welcome:

We welcome all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Christ.

News and schedules are available at and or on Facebook.

Mark Rollenhagen

Mark Rollenhagen is the pastor of Good Soil Lutheran Ministries, Lakewood and Rocky River.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 12:12 PM, 02.20.2018