By Amanda Anderson
SUNTREE -- The next step in the merger between two Brevard County churches will take place this weekend.
On Sunday, June 9, Pastor Marie Duquette will be named as the associate pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Suntree. The installation will take place at 3 p.m.
Earlier this spring, Pastor David Jahn of Advent Lutheran Church announced the merger between Suntree Church and Grace Lutheran Church in Melbourne Beach.
Longtime advocates of the other, Grace Lutheran began to feel the effects of a stagnant economy. Due to the partnership already held between the two churches, Pastor Jahn suggested a merger between Advent and Grace in order to save the beachside church.
"They were only several months away from having to close the doors, so I laid out a plan for a merger," Pastor Jahn said. "This meant that Advent and Grace would become one congregation, operating in two different locations."
Grace Lutheran's congregation leaders held a vote, and the merger was passed on Jan. 27.
"Pastor Duquette will bring her considerable skills in redeveloping and renewing congregations to the New Grace project," Pastor Jahn said. "The goal is to help the Melbourne Beach location continue its path toward revitalization and growth, so that it will, again, become the positive center for mission and ministry that it once was."
As part of the merger, Pastor Duquette will bring a new, contemporary feel to her congregation at Grace Lutheran Church.
"[She] will be adding a modern worship experience to the existing traditional worship service, as well as working with the staff at Advent to bring new faith formation opportunities for youth, children and retired adults," Pastor Jahn added.
Pastor Duquette will hold her first service at Grace Lutheran Church on Sunday, June 16.
For more information about Advent Lutheran Church, visit www.adventsuntree.com, or call (321) 259-8515.