St. John’s – 1992
A new member class was held in January covering the commandments, the Apostles Creed and the Lords’ Prayer as interpreted by Martin Luther. + There was overflowing attendance at the Sunday morning bible classes entitled “Search for the Truth”. + St. John’s Singles Group served meals to the homeless at Faith Mission in Columbus and conducted a worship service led by Chuck Brand on the guitar. + Large turnouts attended Thursday night Lenten services offering singing, teaching on the “Miracles of Jesus” and prayers for healing.
Pastor Paul Hansen was accepted on to the clergy roster of the American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC) on October 15, 1991. A letter dated April 29, 1992 was received from Dr. Duane Lindberg, Presiding Pastor of the AALC informing St. John’s Lutheran Church that the Joint Council had voted unanimously to approve our application for membership in the AALC. Final acceptance to full membership, according to the Constitution of the AALC, took place at the General Convention in June 1992.
Pastor Paul and 7 members traveled to Minneapolis in a motor home to attend their first AALC convention. Pastor expressed excitement at attending his first AALC convention with no apologies made for speaking of scripture, personal salvation and the mission of the AALC to lift up the Gospel across America.
Many “people in the pews” of ELCA congregations in surrounding states requested information from us regarding our withdrawal from the ELCA and our biblical stance on homosexuality. Each letter was responded to by sending a copy of the video, “Human Sexuality and Biblical Authority”, plus additional material for their study. + Eight young people were confirmed in May while holding a lighted candle symbolizing the light of Christ. Pastor Paul and Ron Redman laid hands on each of them and prayed. A reception was held for them on the front lawn of the church following the service.
Jubilee Celebration: St. John’s celebrated the 175th anniversary of its founding on August 16, 1992. A historical booklet entitled “Sesquicentennial History 1817-1967” was published for the occasion. + An up-to-date pictorial directory was also produced for the occasion.
In a letter dated October 1992, Duane Lindberg, Presiding Pastor of the AALC reflected on a two-fold vision, “I see the Lord using our small church body…to help rebuild the rubble of American Lutheranism and also to reach out to the unchurched and unsaved with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Paul and the Worship and Music Committee sought to create a worship atmosphere where everyone is able to understand and participate and not merely those who have always been Lutheran. Praise time offers more singable songs, time was set aside for community prayers and the confession immediately followed the sermon.
A new member class was held in October. Submersion or reaffirmation of Baptism was held at Shiloh Baptist Church on October 31st. + Volunteers were needed for the tape ministry and nursery. + Pastor Paul’s briefs on marriage entitled “For Better or Worse” continues on a local radio station. + Progressive dinner held on November 21st. + Sinners Anonymous meets Monday nights in the house. It follows the guidelines of traditional AA. It is a continuation of Hunger for Healing. + The Salvation Army took applications for Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Christmas needs. + Randy Lange and volunteers prepared, transported and served a meal to 150 plus hungry people at Faith Mission in Columbus. Chuck Brand presented food for their souls by conducting a worship/testimonial service prior to filling their bellies. + “Bucks for Boots” were collected to fund a voucher system providing new shoes and boots for families in need. + Armed with guitars, fruit baskets, song sheets and happy hearts, a convoy of St. John’s members brought song and laughter to loved ones and members living in local health care facilities. Cauldrons of chili awaited their return to the church. + St. John’s members opened their hearts and provided children and families in need (one a family of 14) with food and toys for the Christmas holiday.