In light of recent publicity around the closure and relaunch of The Grove UMC church in Cottage Grove, we wanted to provide additional context on what has become a complicated and often confusing mix of media accounts and dialogue.
For many years, there have been two campuses for The Grove church – one in Woodbury, and a much smaller congregation in Cottage Grove. Despite efforts to engage more attendees over the years, the Cottage Grove congregation has worshiped about 30 people each week, with on-going struggles to maintain sustainability.
Instead of shutting down entirely, and after a lengthy discernment process, the church decided to try a technique called a “relaunch.” The church would temporarily close for about a year in order to prepare and open a new space in an intentionally different way, with a different worship style and new leadership team.
Members of The Grove campus that is closing temporarily have been invited to be an active part of the “transition team.” Also, despite certain media reports, elderly members of the congregation have NOT been asked to stay away from the church once it re-opens. Unfortunately, various inflammatory headlines have helped fuel anger and confusion.
Many have expressed a deep sense of sadness at how a church community we are so very much a part of, and love dearly, is being portrayed. In that light, the Minnesota UMC Conference earlier this week released a detailed overview of the situation, which you can read by clicking here.
In the meantime, please let us know of additional questions you may have that can be addressed by the PPUMC church leadership and communications teams. Thank you.