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Lutheran church set to open

Western New York's newest Lutheran congregation is celebrating its official opening this weekend.

Crossroads Lutheran Church, at 4640 Main St. in Amherst, is made up of the congregations of three former churches: Cleveland Hill in Cheektowaga and St. James and Ascension, both of Amherst. It is located in Ascension's former building and now boasts a congregation of about 400.

The church will be headed by two women pastors, the Revs. Nancy Milleville and Mary Ellen Larson. "I'm thrilled," Milleville told The Buffalo News on Friday as she prepared for the weekend's activities. "I'm looking forward to what we can do together that none of us could do alone."

Milleville said her former church, Ascension, had been doing fairly well at the time "but had a desire to do much more." She continued: "We looked around and there were other Lutherans around us who were struggling. If we came together in some sort of an arrangement, we could do more ministry." Crossroads opened its doors in June, but this weekend is its debut to the community. The church will offer its regular weekend services: an informal service at 5 p.m. today; contemporary service with a band at 9 a.m. Sunday, followed by a more traditional service with a choir and organ at 10:30 a.m. From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, there will be a chicken barbecue by Krolick's, with proceeds going to the Snyder Fire Department.

e-mail: mbecker@buffnews.com

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