First Lutheran marks 125th anniversary

GLADSTONE – First Lutheran Church of Gladstone is marking its 125th anniversary this year (1889-2014). The church will celebrate its Charter date and Swedish heritage on Sunday, June 1. The service will begin at 9 am. Bishop Thomas Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod, ELCA, will be the guest preacher and Pastor Peggy Rose will preside.

Members and guests are encouraged to wear clothing of their heritage this day. There will be an ethnic brunch following the service. The Chancel Choir will be singing and all former choir members of any age are invited to participate.

First Lutheran Church was organized on June 3, 1889, as the “Svenska Evangeliska Lutherska Ebenezer Forsamlingen” by Swedish immigrants. The original church was built in 1894 at 1210 Michigan Ave. The congregation moved to their new building at 1212 Minneapolis Ave. in 1967 and church membership grew to encompass people of many cultures.

First Lutheran members began their celebration year in January with retired Bishop Emeritus and former pastor, Dale Skogman, as the first guest preacher. Other scheduled events this year are:

Friday, July 4 – an anniversary float in the Gladstone parade;

Sunday, July 6, 9 a.m. – Seminarian Tera Kossow Lowe will be the guest speaker with a fellowship hour afterward;

Sunday, July 13, 10 a.m. – annual church picnic service at the big pavilion in Van Cleve Park;

Sunday, Aug. 3 – Children’s Day Camp week with Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp staff begins;

Sunday, Aug. 17 – Former Pastor Jon Schmidt and Pastor Jean Schmidt will be the guests with a coffee hour afterward. Also on that same day at 3 p.m., First Lutheran will host the ordination service for Diane Srutowski, a former congregation member, seminarian, and Licensed Lay Minister for Trinity Lutheran Church in Stonington.

Throughout the year there will be presentations of the church history with photos and displays of cultural items shared by members. Anyone who has any memories or keepsakes they would like to share is asked to call Cindy Sjoquist at 428-9103.

All members, former members and friends of First Lutheran are welcome to celebrate with the congregation at any of the events during the year.

First Lutheran’s summer worship schedule is one Sunday service at 9 a.m. through Aug. 31. Call the church office at 428-4565 for more information.