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Reshaping Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran

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By The Staff

After Sunday, Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Mission will be no more. Its identity, which is shared with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Santa Fe, will change.Rather than being a daughter mission of Immanuel, Redeemer Evangelical will become a sister congregation known as Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church. The difference between being a mission and a congregation, Rev. Brian Kachelmeier said, lies in church policy and structure. Right now, he explained, members of Redeemer Evangelical are actually members of Immanuel in Santa Fe.Becoming its own congregation allows Redeemer to be separate from the Santa Fe church, and as a separate entity, it can elect is own officials, such as president, vice president and secretary.Additionally, Kachelmeier said, in the past Redeemer and Immanuel worked together to make an annual joint work program and budget. He described it was “one big collection pot.” Now, as an independent congregation, Redeemer will be responsible for its own funding.To become a separate congregation, Kachelmeier said church members developed their own constitution and by-laws, which were sent to Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the national organization, for approval.To get to this point took eight years of planning and prayer. On Dec. 12, 1999, members of Immanuel voted to lay the groundwork for planting a new LCMS congregation in Los Alamos County.Later, in September 2003, formal services began. The Rev. Douglas Escue led services Sunday afternoons in the United Church. In 2005, Kachelmeier was ordained as the Associate Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Later that year, he led services in the Los Alamos Community Building. In January 2007, services relocated to Pion Elementary School in White Rock.Currently, services are held at 134 N.M. 4, Suite B in White Rock. The ultimate goal, Kachelmeier said, is really to enhance the church’s own identity by building a new church.Having a separate and individual identity is an advantage, he said. “The advantage for members up here is to be better involved in the church organization itself,” Kachelmeier said. It’s more convenient and easier for Los Alamos members to attend activities, church services and programs in Los Alamos than driving to Santa Fe, he added.“(We’re) moving in the direction of helping to serve the members living up here and extending out in the community to provide the opportunity to participate in Redeemer Lutheran,” Kachelmeier said.Redeemer’s new identity will become official during a special celebration service at 3 p.m. Sunday. The guest preacher Rev. Randy Golter, president of the Rocky Mountain District-LCM, which includes New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and El Paso, Texas, will sign the new constitution along with the new elected president Drew Kornrieth and secretary Yvonne Krause. Kachelmeier will also sign the constitution.Also during the service, Redeemer will receive its formal fellowship as a member congregation.Fore more information, call Kachelmeier at 412-9682.