St. James Lutheran Church in New Dundee celebrates 150 years of faith

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Marie Weiss (left) and Marilyn Einwechter, curators of the St. James archives, stand in front of an extensive exhibit of historical books, photos and artifacts they’ve amassed over the past year. Many of the documents were translated from their original German versions.

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The entire congregation gathers on the front steps of St. James after the celebratory anniversary worship service June 14.

“150 years Untied in Faith in Jesus Christ” was the theme for St. James Lutheran Church’s anniversary dinner which took place on June 13.  Over 200 members of the congregation, along with their extended families and friends met at the New Dundee Community Centre to celebrate the founding of St. James a century and half ago. A barbershop quartet entertained the crowd as they reminisced together and recounted the many events they had shared together over the last few decades. In many cases there were four generations of families in attendance.

Before dinner, the children from the Sunday School, led by Kim Einwechter, performed “Jesus Loves Me” and surprised the attendees by singing the refrain in German. The emcee for the evening was Jerry Finnen who introduced a number of returning pastors who have been part of the St. James family over the years. The pastors were presented with a historical account of the past 150 years at St. James. After the dinner, everyone in attendance was entertained by a former pastor, Rev. Dick Holm, who regaled the audience with a crowd favourite, “Out Behind the Barn.” He was followed by comedian Stan Iutzi who had the congregation “in stitches” with his unique brand of “Amish” humour.

On Sunday, the festivities continued with a celebratory worship service at the church. Bishop Michael Pryse, an honoured guest, assisted Pastor Bonnie Schelter-Brown and many of the former pastors of St. James were also in attendance. After the service, Pastor Schelter-Brown and Bishop Pryse dedicated an “Anniversary Garden” outside the front of the church. A photograph was taken of all those in attendance on the front steps of the church. Lunch and fellowship followed and many of the congregation lingered to share their memories and stories of their time at St. James.

Submitted by

Anne Cooper
Anniversary Committee
St. James Lutheran Church

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