Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014 was a day of celebration and thanksgiving at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Martensdale as their newly built worship and outreach center was officially dedicated. The former building was destroyed by fire in October, 2011. Assumption Catholic Church in nearby Churchville offered to share worship and ministry space with the people of St. Paul. This was accepted and utilized for over two years.
Southeastern Iowa Synod Bishop Michael Burk presided over the worship service with co-pastors Keith Lingwall and Ron Mohr assisting with the blessing and dedication of the designated places for Baptism, Word and Meal. A full house of members and friends sang praises to God, celebrated Holy Communion and shared the peace the St. Paul way with everyone greeting all who were present. Mission Investment Fund representative, Pastor Paula Kitt, presented a commemorative plaque and gift in recognition of our partnership in ministry.
Following the worship service, the space was converted to a dining area where a meal prepared by the members of the church was served. The afternoon featured a celebration program with slide show, special music and recognition of those who made the rebuilding effort possible. Special recognition was given to the Virgil Newhouse family for donating the beautiful stained glass window in memory of wife and mother, Phyllis Strable Newhouse and son, Brian Newhouse. The window contains many Christian symbols and is the main focal point on which the building was designed.
The members of St. Paul are grateful to all who walked with us on this journey of resurrection, rebuilding and renewal.
Written by Kim Downs, Council President, St. Paul Lutheran Church