North Dakota synagogue invites homeless Lutheran church to share worship space


(JTA) — A Reform synagogue in Fargo, North Dakota, invited a Lutheran church there to share its worship space.

The invitation from Temple Beth El came after St. Mark’s Lutheran church found itself without a regular home for the third time in six years, local news station KVRR  reported. The arrangement began last month, but the two congregations held a dedication service and potluck on Sunday.

The church will play rent to the synagogue.

“Talk about the wandering Jews. They’ve been the wandering Lutherans,” Temple Beth El Rabbi Janeen Kobrinsky told KVRR. “They looked for like 47 or 48 places before they found us. And we, our whole board, everyone, was just like, ‘Yes, let’s do it. We’re on board,’”

The temple board voted in July to invite the church to share its building and sanctuary.

“Historically, Christians and Jews have not always had a good relationship,” Pastor Joe Larson said. “The church has done many things to hurt the Jewish community, so for them to be so welcoming is really incredible.”

St. Mark’s and Temple Beth El plan to work together on interfaith programs such as serving the homeless and helping refugees, according to the report.

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