”Serving God by serving others” is the theme as church members will volunteer their services around town on a variety of projects.
The ABC House (A Better Chance) on Main Street is being spruced up, overgrown AVIS trails will be trimmed, Neighbors in Need food pantry groceries will be sorted at the Dundee Park warehouse and Ironstone Farm will get windows washed and fences repaired.
Pastor Jon Heydenreich, who celebrates 20 years at the church this year, said his exploding congregation numbers are most likely tied to the growing spiritual needs of today’s church-goers.
”In my time here, I have tried to focus on our relationship with the sacred, with God. I think most folks have a sense there is more to life. And, Jesus provides direction as to how to live — have a love for God, love for others and love for yourself,” Heydenreich said. “So, that is what we try to do as best we can.” He said worship is relevant to daily life and his church offers numerous outreach programs that help others, something that his congregation enjoys. Plus, children get a lot of attention at Faith Lutheran and members like that, too.
Heydenreich uses a frog puppet each week to share the gospel with kids. Preaching on a child’s level has been very well received, he said.
“The kids love it, their parents love it .... We have so many families here and the puppet is a big hit,” church member Alan Thoday of Andover said.
Heydenreich prays that they’ll continue to love it for another 50 years — at least.
“One of the most significant things we do is to try to provide a joyous place for children,” he said. “Hopefully, when they grow up, their memories of Faith Lutheran will bring a smile to their faces. That is a good thing.”
At the pulpit
Pastor Hartland H. Gifford, 1962 to 1977
Pastor Dennis P. Kohl, 1977 to 1988
Pastor Richard E. Lindgren, 1989 to 1992
Pastor Jonathan Heydenreich, 1993 to today. His wife, Pastor Marsha Heydenreich, has been the associate pastor since 2000.