Dual Parish

A parish in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod is one or more churches served by the same pastor. There can be many reasons for multiple churches sharing one pastor, but usually the size of a church's membership is a key factor. If a church is unable to support a pastor working full-time, or if there are several such churches within a reasonable distance of one another, they often work together, so that a pastor may be found who will work part-time in each of the churches. When there are two congregations supporting one pastor, we call them a dual parish.

Each church in a dual parish effectively has a part-time pastor, so that lay leadership and cooperation is much more important than it would be in a single-church parish. However, a dual parish also provides greater opportunities for each church than they would otherwise have, if each church is willing to work with the other in regular church activities. The combination of a long-established congregation in Hood River with a more recently-established congregation in The Dalles is a natural fit. The differences between the two churches are complementary, so that each one brings its own strengths to the dual parish.