The last service at St. John’s Lutheran Church toook place Sunday as the facility is being decommissioned due to deterioration. Services will continue at the neighbouring Comunity Baptist Church, beginning this Sunday at 4 p.m. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star) The last service at St. John’s Lutheran Church took place Sunday as the facility is being decommissioned due to deterioration. Services will continue at the neighbouring Comunity Baptist Church, beginning this Sunday at 4 p.m. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

St. John’s Lutheran Church relocating services

Services will be held at Community Baptist Church at 4 p.m. Sundays starting April 15

It was a tough decision to close the doors of St. John’s Lutheran Church after more than 30 years in operation, but chairman Barry Schick said it all came down to a problem with the clay.

“The clay under than building has been causing us problems since the beginning — when we first built the church 35 years ago,” Schick said.

“There’s just been a lot of shifting and a lot of movement so we’ve been working on repairs and things over the years but it’s just got to be too much. It was time to make some hard choices.”

The church held its final worship service in the Alain Road building on Sunday, April 8 and began decommissioning its present facility. Perimeter fencing has been put up around the Sanctuary, and the entry by Alain Road is being closed.

In the meantime, Schick and the congregation are faced with the “hard work” of figuring out what comes next. He said at the moment, no one is sure what that looks like.

“It’s hard to say,” he added. “It depends on what we decide to do. We have a few options to look at.”

Among those to be considered are rebuilding from the ground up, renovating or rebuilding part of the building or selling the land and moving entirely.

Though the building itself is fairly young, Schick said St. John’s congregation has been active in the area for more than a century, and despite the setback of not having a home of its own, the situation is only temporary. He anticipates it could be as long as two years, or as short as a matter of months — the length of time the congregation will be displaced, he reiterated, hangs on what they decide to do with their building.

While he and the other members consider the possibilities, the Community Baptist Church (4911 Silver Star Rd.), which is next door to the St. John’s church, has “graciously” offered the congregation the opportunity to share their facilities for services and activities. St. John’s will hold their services at 4 p.m. starting Sunday, April 15, while the Baptist congregation will continue to hold their service in the morning.

Schick said he’s grateful for the Baptist Church’s offer to share their building, and feels confident the two busy congregations will work well together as housemates.

St. John’s Lutheran Church was founded in 1902, with the first chapel built in Vernon in 1910. A church was built on 27th Street in 1913 for the congregation of 164. A larger church was needed by 1952 and was in use until the present building on Alain Road was built in 1985.

Erin Christie

Morning Star Staff

 

Just Posted

BX wildfire holding at 1.2 hectares

Blaze now 1.2 hectares, several other small fires burning in region

Search and Rescue home sought

Alternate approval process being used to borrow $3.5 million for Vernon society

Okanagan residents urged to FireSmart their homes

Regional District of North Okanagan available to help neighbourhoods and groups achieve FireSmart practices

Coldstream standoff defendant faces sentencing hearing

Kelly Blake Torvik’s matter moved to judicial case manager’s office to set sentencing date

Search underway for missing Lumby man

John Keeley is believed to have been kayaking in Mabel Lake near Lumby.

BC Games: Dance, spoken-word highlights at Opening Ceremony in Cowichan

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

Law Creek wildfire forces evacuation alert in West Kelowna

A blaze in West Kelowna has put 198 properties on an evacuation alert

1,490 Peachland residents put on evacuation alert

The Mount Eneas wildfire has forced an evacuation alert of 596 properties

B.C. city wants pot punted from farmland

Concerned about conversion from growing food to making marijuana

Centre set up for Summerland wildfire evacuees

Summerland Emergency Support Services has processed 55 people from 16 households

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire now an estimated 400 hectares

BC Wildfire is on scene of what is being called the Good Creek blaze

Flicked cigarette butt sparks small fire

The cigarette would have added fuel to the fire if it wasn’t for good samaritans

On the street: Kelowna reacts to 2018 wildfires

BC Wildfire is working with local departments to battle multiple blazes near Kelowna.

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

Most Read