50th Anniversary Celebration
Grace Lutheran Church of Apple Valley held its first services in October of 1964. In October of 2014 we honored the church’s 50th anniversary with the multi-event 50 Years of Grace celebration. The celebration took the form of special anniversary services, a concert by all the church’s musicians, an outdoor carnival for Grace kids, a youth bonfire, and more.
The 50 Years of Grace celebration was our way of recognizing the contribution of all the individuals and groups who have been involved with the church and its missions over the past five decades. It’s also our way of preparing for the future — the next 50 years of Grace.
Enjoy now the sights from these celebrations — and relive the congregation’s memories of 50 Years of Grace. (Thanks to Don Blumenstein, Mike Tweeton, and Sherry Miller for the great photos!)
50th Anniversary Worship Service and Luncheon
Grace formally celebrated its 50th anniversary at the October 5 Sunday services. At both morning services, former ELCA Bishop Mark Hanson preached, with performances by the Grace Choir. A special 50th Anniversary Luncheon followed the Sunday services. Former pastors and founding members joined current members in a celebratory lunch and in sharing their memories of Grace. It was great to see all those familiar faces again, and to reminisce about the good times of old.
These are just some of the hundreds of photos taken of the worship service and luncheon. To view all the photos (and download any for your own personal use), see Grace’s 50th Anniversary Celebration photo album on Flickr.
50th Anniversary Festival Worship Service
The 50 Years of Grace celebration included two special worship services. On October 1, Rev. Paul Erickson, Assistant to the St. Paul Area Synod Bishop, preached at the Wednesday evening service, accompanied by music from the GraceAbounds band. The seventh-grade confirmation kids served treats in the lobby afterwards.
Music of Grace Concert
Grace’s anniversary weekend kicked off with a gala Music of Grace concert on Saturday evening, October 4. The concert celebrated Grace’s rich musical history, with performances by the Grace Choir, GraceAbounds contemporary band, Bells of Grace bell choir, the Grace Brass, pianist John Koziol, organist Margaret Gohman, string duo Heather and Michael Olivier, and the Grace Bible School kids. The proceedings were organized and directed by Choir Director Steve Boehlke, and the audience was treated to a variety of grace-themed music. It was truly a special evening — followed by apple crisp for all in the lobby!
On Saturday 27, kids of all ages joined in the fun at the first Grace Carnival. Held outdoors in the west parking lot, the Carnival included games, inflatable bouncers, popcorn, caramel apples, and more. It was a beautiful day in Apple Valley, and hundreds of church and neighborhood children had a blast!
Grace’s teenagers participated in the celebration with a special bonfire held on Sunday evening, September 28. Middle- and high school youth joined around the new firepit on the west side of the building to enjoy fellowship, s’mores, and music led by Jared Rendell and Mike Miller. It was a special evening that all enjoyed.
50 Years of Grace in the News
On September 29, 2014, Apple Valley’s local SunThisweek newspaper published a long and informative article about Grace Lutheran Church and the 50th anniversary celebration. Read the article online here.
Memories of Grace
This Memories of Grace e-book presents memories from some of Grace’s founding members, past pastoral staff, and current members of the congregation. Read here or download for future reading.