'Sharing a Century of God's Grace Being Chosen'
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One hundred cans of soup were brought in by the congregation on Sunday, March 30, to kick off the yearlong celebration commemorating the 100th Anniversary of West Clermont Lutheran Church. Pictured (l to r) beginning at the top of the photo were committee members Deb Guyer, Bev Baker and Teresa Loftsgard along with Pastor Joelle Colville-Hanson, ELCA Director for Evangelical Mission, Pastor Dayna Winke, committee chairman Vernon Oakland and choir director Blake Potthoff. (LeAnn Larson photo)
‘Sharing a Century of God’s Grace Being Chosen’
Next year will mark a milestone for West Clermont Lutheran Church that has many smiling – 100 years of serving others.
It’s a church that has a strong sense of its history and continues to develop a better sense of identity on which to build for the future.
In the early 1900s it was a long, hard trip to East Clermont Church for the Lutherans who were settling west of Clermont. It also meant a long day’s walk for confirmants when they had their weekly classes.
In March 1915, the West Clermont Lutheran Church congregation was organized and a decision was made to build a new church.
The lots were purchased from Mrs. Rebecca A.M. McKinley for $1,200, and it was during this same year that the church was erected at a cost of $15,000.
The structure remained unaltered until 1962, when a new educational unit was added. In 2002, the church was made handicapped-accessible with a 3,000-square-foot addition made possible through “Project Hope.”
WCLC has grown and changed in many ways throughout the last century. It began with 70 members and currently has over 500.
Over the course of the last century, over 400 marriage ceremonies and funeral services have been held. West Clermont Lutheran Church has also hosted three ordinations.
On Sept. 13, 2013, seven volunteer members of WCLC began meeting and organizing a yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary in March 2015.
A request was sent out to the congregation to submit ideas for a 100th anniversary theme and selected was “1915-2015: Sharing a Century of God’s Grace Being Chosen.”
Events will be held throughout this year, culminating in a three-day 100th anniversary celebration March 27-29, 2015.
Other notable events set include a basket auction on May 4; a bus tour of church showing WCLC history June 28-29; Rally Sunday with a balloon release on Sept. 7; pumpkin roll sales on Nov. 2; and an Old-Fashioned Christmas on Dec. 7.
In honor of the church, WCLC has made a commitment to complete 100 service projects throughout the year.
On Sunday, the West Clermont Lutheran Church congregation kicked off its first of many events with a soup can drive for the area food pantry with over 100 cans of soup collected.
The community and congregation are asked to look for upcoming information on these and other events planned in the year to come.
The Elgin Echo will continue to take a look back at how West Clermont Lutheran Church came into being, its ministry, and how it has grown and changed over the last century.