[Editors Note: The Bible says that everything has a season. That is true for churches as well. Churches open, and sometimes churches end their ministry and close. Cross and Crown has been worshipping 100 or fewer for the last 25 years, yet still has been purposefully involved in global and local outreach through four different pastors, touching many lives. When a big decision loomed this past year for the members concerning their future, once again global and local mission was a pivotal factor. Karen Dorfmeyer, a lifelong Cross and Crown member, is pictured here with Dr Hang, one of our key leaders in Vietnam. Karen has been craft coordinator for EEMN teams to eastern Europe, as well as ALWM teams to China and now Vietnam for nearly 15 years. Thanks Karen!]
Cross and Crown Lutheran Church
Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois, began as a mission church and served its congregation until 2021.
Purposefully involved in local and global outreach
Cross and Crown Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois, began in 1968 as a mission church of the ALC by Pastor Ken Roufs. Planted in a growing area with many young families, the ministry was focused on establishing a congregation and growing with the needs of the member families. As the church matured, the focus turned outward to the community, such as food deliveries to Pacific Garden Mission. After a few years, our pastor left to join Good News for Israel.
His successor, Pastor Jim Glynn, heard about a ministry in Haiti from a local seminary student. This was shared this with the congregation. We decided to form a sister church relationship with a small Haitian church, which included exchanging letters and photos, and some financial gifts. We sent our first mission team in 1982: to visit people in homes, experience worship, meet with church leaders and learn more about the needs of the community. Other teams visited in subsequent years, helping our congregation to better understand what life is like as a Christian in a country where voodoo is prominent. Also, our youth group went to Guatemala in 1992.
As our Global mission awareness grew, we sponsored a 3-day global missions conference, inviting area churches to participate. Missionaries from several agencies came to share their ministries. As a result, our church came to sponsor several missionaries that we continue to support to this day. Pastor Glynn left for full-time ministry to the Haitian people in 1994.
When Cross and Crown searched for our next pastor, it was important that we find someone with an interest in global missions. We found Pastor Bill Moberly, who had worked with several mission agencies and had been working at that time in eastern Europe. Our church developed a sister church relationship with a church in Russia, with a team visiting them in 1996. Locally, we also saw a need for a day care center for low-income families and opened a center at our church. Pastor Moberly continued to encourage our interest in global missions until he left in 2000. He went on to direct EEMN, and later ALWM, with several church members serving on short-term mission trips with him.
Our next pastor was Randy Thompson, who worked with the worship leader to increase our vision to include the needs of our local community. We established Ministry of Hope, which provides meals and opportunities for spiritual growth to the homeless in our area, becoming a vital part of our congregation.
The opportunity to share God’s love around the world and around the neighborhood has been a blessing to Cross and Crown for over 50 years. The people we have met have touched our lives in many ways. God has used these experiences to grow our faith and to see Jesus in people around the world.
Cross and Crown dissolved in 2021 as a church, due to declining enrollment. The last service held on May 30.
Cross and Crown Ministries
When the current members discussed what to do with the church assets, we agreed that we wanted the missionary support ministry, the homeless ministry and the daycare to continue, so Cross and Crown Ministries was formed to continue that good work.