Monday, April 30, 2012

ORLC 50 Years and Counting...

Things around church have been rather busy. On the top of the list is VBS planning and 50th anniversary of Our Redeemer. This mean's that I am fully swamped. Decorating, games, powerpoints, rehearsals, cleaning, arranging--but it all will come together.

50 years is quite a substantial amount when you consider that Alaska has only been a state for three years longer (Entered in statehood 1959). The history of Our Redeemer is unique. It all began with eighteen people gathered in worship back in 1960, seeking to form a place where they could share their faith together, and make an impact on their community.
The rented Emmaus Chapel during church construction 
Complete building-the iconic cross ready to go up
From small gatherings in homes, to a rented chapel, recognition by the LCMS as a congregation in December 1962, to the first service in a new building in 1964, several additions, a series of pastors and other church workers, we have now arrived at the 50th anniversary of what is known as Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
The church in 1972
This upcoming weekend is the big shindig. We are anticipating upwards of 200 people to which we will have to use every space the church building has. The celebration begins with a potluck dinner (of course we are Lutheran so pot-luck is a must). From there we go into activities and games for the kids and a live polka band.
The church today
This past Saturday I made a run to Lowes to get 20 baby spruce trees. I fit them all in my little two door, ford escort. None of them fit in the trunk because the trees were too tall so I had 20 trees in my back and passenger seats. Who needs air freshener when you can have 20 live spruce trees? Why did I put 20 spruce trees in my car? For the 50th anniversary of course.

Such potential I just pray the ground is not still frozen when we dig on Saturday
Each year ORLC cuts down a live Christmas tree, a tradition that has been going on since the start of the congregation. A much as the 50th anniversary is about looking toward the past it is also a time of forward looking to the future of this congregation.

On Saturday as part of the festivities I have coordinated the youth to plant these twenty trees as a way of looking toward the future for twenty Christmas and beyond. The anniversary as a time to look forward; a time to prayerfully consider where God would take this congregation in the next 50, 100, or however many years He intends Our Redeemer to exist.

The future is in God’s hands; in fact, God is our future. As Christians, we look forward to an amazing day when we will be with God. Jesus, our Savior, has given us an everlasting opportunity to enter God’s Kingdom here on earth. May the Lord bless the future of Our Redeemer and the future that He has for your life.

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