Many churches have experienced significant decline in recent decades for a variety of reasons. Bishop Michael K. Girlinghouse, former pastor of University Lutheran Church & Student Center and current bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, addressed the loss and grief associated with these changes at a workshop Sunday at ULCSC.
His presentation was based on his recently published book, "Embracing God's Future without Forgetting the Past: A Conversation about Loss, Grief, and Nostalgia in Congregational Life."
Girlinghouse contends that churches need to mourn the losses they experience before being able to think creatively about the future direction they will take.
In addition to serving the Norman congregation, Girlinghouse has pastored churches and campus ministries in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and South Dakota and has taught at the university level prior to becoming Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA eight years ago.