This year, 2021, is almost over and we are still in the throes of a global pandemic that has affected our lives in so many ways. In our worship services, masks are required; the choir, absent for over a year, is now singing again with masks, with difficulty; communion at the rail is observed after using prepared cups of wine with attached wafers; etc.
Fifty years ago, in October 1971, things were very different at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church. We were immersed in an exciting building program for a new sanctuary, lounge, library, office space and narthex. Various events had already occurred as the long anticipated project begun. Pastor Herluf Jensen was reluctant to get involved in such a big project so soon after coming to our church (1968) but he was well supported by a strong team of lay leadership. Following approval of architectural plans drawn up by architect Herman Hassinger, a member of the congregation, and completion of a successful building fund campaign, the congregation had authorized construction of the new facilities on January 31, 1971. A ground breaking ceremony was held on May 2 and a Festival Service of Leave Taking ended nearly 80 years of worship in the old church building on June 13. Very soon the demolition was begun and finished – all in one day. Congregation leaders had long been warned that the building was not safe to continue using. With one push of the bulldozer, it began to crumble and the remainder went down easily. (NOTE:that the building was first used by the Presbyterian congregation before being sold to Saint Matthew Church in 1950.) —Rozella Bower