Minn. church says it never asked older church members to leave

A struggling local church grappled with national attention after an area newspaper reported it was telling its elderly parishioners to make way for the young.

“This week our church made the news for all the wrong reasons,” said a letter to the congregation signed by Lead Pastor Dan Wetterstrom and Associate Pastor Kelly Lamon.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that The Grove United Methodist Church was going to usher out gray-haired members in an effort to attract more young parishioners.

The pastors said the coverage “did not accurately portray what is happening” at the Cottage Grove campus of the church.

The congregation has long struggled; about 30 people attend worship on Sunday.

There’s no full-time pastor. A member delivers the weekly sermon.

Last year, the church leadership voted to relaunch the Cottage Grove location in an effort to attract more people.

The plan is to shut down the church in June and reopen later this year with a new pastor, new programming and building updates “aimed at engaging more members of a growing community.”

Read more at KSLA.