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

Former mayor, MLA Hanson dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

‘This place is a disaster;’ Polson Avengers cleanup expands

Polson Avengers find needles behind Vernon business

Final say on solid waste plan

RDNO online survey on solid waste management plan ends Sunday

Two Okanagan cities listed in Top 20 “rattiest” list

Rats. The Okanagan has them and they’re really a problem in two cities, according to this list.

Students on the run

Vernon district cross country run at DND fields this afternoon

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Ailing health care biggest hurdle for Okanagan jail

PART SIX: Inmates reportedly wait weeks for broken bones to be seen, challenges with maintaining medical staff

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Jackals prey on Harlequins

Vernon Jackals defeat Penticton Harlequins in rugby season opener

Accused murderer found guilty in unrelated Penticton robbery

McGenn sentenced to 5 years, now faces 2nd-degree murder trial over Abbotsford man’s 2016 death

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

Most Read