Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Congregation anticipates changes

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Though it may seem strange to celebrate the installation of a Lutheran pastor in a Catholic church, the leaders of a Frederick congregation say it was appropriate for several reasons.

The Rev. David Albertson was installed as mission pastor of Evangelical Lutheran Church’s Urbana congregation during a ceremony held at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church in Ijamsville Sunday afternoon.

‘‘Part of the reason we chose [St. Ignatius] was the desire to show people what can be,” the Rev. Albert Lane of Evangelical Lutheran Church said.

The Lutheran church plans to build a new mission campus in Ijamsville near St. Ignatius, which will be similar in location and size to that church.

Currently, the Lutheran church’s Urbana parish holds services in Urbana Elementary School. Leaders thought it would be fitting to hold the installation ceremony at the newly constructed church St. Ignatius.

Lane said the new sanctuary would seat about 420 people and would be about 75 percent of the size of St. Ignatius. It will be located on a 43-acre parcel of land on Md. Route 80, according to Albertson.

The church had hoped to begin construction of the multi-building campus this year, but are still in the permitting process with the State Highway Administration and Frederick County government.

‘‘People have been responsive. It’s just taking longer than we had originally anticipated,” Lane said.

The Lutheran church also has had a history of cooperation with St. Ignatius of Loyola in Ijamsville — the congregation used to worship at St. Ignatius’ former location on Urbana Church Road.

Albertson, who is relatively new to Lutheranism, said he felt blessed to be installed officially as the mission parish pastor. Albertson has attended seminary in a different faith tradition, graduating with a masters of divinity from Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif., in 2002. However, he and his wife, Nicole, decided to convert to Lutheranism because they felt it better fit their beliefs. He graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg in May, and has served as pastoral assistant at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick since July.

The Rev. David Oravec, senior pastor at Evangelical Lutheran Church, said Albertson was ordained in November, and has been working with the Urbana mission parish since the summer.

‘‘I feel blessed to be called to this church and this congregation. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Albertson said.