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Many gather to celebrate 60 years of ministry at Holy Trinity

Published: Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 10:19 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 11:47 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Submitted Photo)
Pastor Steve Pannkuk, Jim Vermillion, Tom and Kathy Netzel and JoAnn Nida share stories following worship. Jim and JoAnn are charter members.

Uplifting music, meaningful worship, warm fellowship and tasty food — all contributed to a wonderful experience for the people who shared in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church’s 60th Anniversary last weekend.

The Saturday evening service at the Arboretum and Botanical Center in Newton was alive with excitement! Former members, friends and current members were invited to participate in an informal worship experience using the contemporary liturgy of “Holden Evening Prayer.” Supper, which included special cakes, was served following the service.

Sunday morning the sanctuary was full of worshipers, some of whom came long distances to enjoy the day. Recognized during the service were members who signed the charter that officially organized the congregation in January 1958. This group included members of the original 10 families who were encouraged to start a new Lutheran church in Newton. The United Lutheran Church in America’s leadership felt the city would double in size, and another Lutheran church would be needed in the City of Newton.

The congregation’s first service was held in the Aurora Heights Gym Aug. 4, 1957, with 97 people present. Leading the service on that day was Mission Developer Carl H. Berhenke, a pastor of the United Lutheran Church in America.

Former Pastor Steve Pannkuk (1993-2004) brought the message during the Sunday service. Former organist at Holy Trinity Tom Netzel shared his inspirational music at both the Saturday and Sunday services. Both helped make the weekend special Also recognized at the services was Judy (Berhenke) Ward. Wards dad, the Rev. Carl H. Berhenke, was the mission developer for Holy Trinity.

A dinner, reminiscent of the 50s and 60s catered by Midtown Café, was enjoyed by many of the worshipers. A historical display, a video of early members reminiscing about the early years of the congregation and a video of pictures of the early years of Holy Trinity were available for viewing.

Former Pastors Jerry Egel and Carrie LaPlante plan to celebrate with Holy Trinity this fall.

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