The events approved for the 16 month celebration of 150 years for the church (1862 - 2012) and for the school (1863 - 2013) were based on feasibility, budget, congregation input and Ministry Director approval. Not shown in the schedule below are the many worship services which will highlight our 150 years of blessings and the other happenings around the church and school that will commemorate these 150 years.
March 4, 2012: Sunday Worship Service commemorating the March 9, 1962, signing of the church's charter and the official opening of our 150th celebration. This charter established our church corporation and defined its legal privileges and purpose.
Pastor Ed Mease, Senior Pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church & School led this commemoration at both the 8:00 and 10:30 AM Worship Services.
"As I'm sure that many of you are aware, our congregation is about to celebrate her 150th Anniversary. Our beginnings actually go back to August 25, 1861 - or 150 years ago this past August — when a visiting pastor from Iowa (Rev. H. Lossner), on his way back home after visiting family in Junction City, Kansas, conducted a worship service for Lutheran families in a Methodist Church in the Kickapoo area, north of Leavenworth.
In November of 1861, a graduate of our St. Louis Seminary, Rev. Michael Meyer, arrived at the Leavenworth Landing on a river steamer and became our first pastor.
After several months of organization, it was 150 years ago this coming Friday that "The Evangelical Lutheran Church U.A.C. (of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession) in Leavenworth" was chartered with the newborn state of Kansas.
On March 9, 1862, while meeting in a public school building, seven men and their families signed the constitutional charter: George Elbert; F.W. Scheer; George Lueders; Henry Steinker; Paul Martens; Peter Schott; and Elias Ulrich.
Before the year was over, a wood-frame church was built on Delaware Street, between 6th & 7th streets — it was dedicated on Christmas Day of 1862.
It was the following year (1863) that Pastor Meyer organized our school. And both church and school have been here on 7th Street since 1866 — with the school moving across the street in 1937.
Our celebration of Christ being our foundation for a century-and-one-half will officially begin the Sunday after Easter: April 15 (you should have received, or will soon, a special mailing with details of that day).
Today, we simply want to pause to thank the Lord for His blessing upon the official chartering of St. Paul Lutheran Church & School of Leavenworth — seeking His continued blessing over the years yet to come.
By your faith in the Triune God, who has established the holy Christian church as the earthly body of Christ and the instrument to accomplish His saving grace for all people, are you, gathered today as the people of God at St. Paul Lutheran Church & School of Leavenworth, willing to join in both work and witness, living under the gospel of Jesus Christ and in accordance with the constitution by which we are now chartered?
If so, answer: "Yes, by the help of God."
Will you strive to do the work of the kingdom in the bond of unity and love, both in the life of our congregation as-well-as in the work of the whole church?
Again, if so, answer: "Yes, by the help of God."
Please join me in prayer:
Almighty God, Your people serve You in many ways. We thank You for our brothers and sisters, who trusting in You, officially began our congregation 150 years ago this week. Today, we pledge to continue their work and witness — asking that You unite us in mission and praise, that with one voice and purpose through the ages, we may glorify You in both our witness and worship. Show us new ways to serve You and our neighbor. Make us worthy to bear the sign of the cross in the world, and bring us at last into Your eternal kingdom of glory. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
It is my honor, as Senior Pastor, to declare that this week, we begin our 151st year of congregational life, "Cultivating Awesome Relationships for Eternity!"
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
April 15, 2012: Our first celebration event was a catered dinner at the School. Our guest preacher for both Services and for the dinner was the Rev. Richard Mayer. Our program provided us with an afternoon to 'remember.'
May 20, 2012: The Memory Garden on the south-side of the church was dedicated, and planting began that following week — providing us with a pleasant place for meditation and reflection.
July 1, 2012: A "Red, White and Blue" service honored military personnel, firefighters, and police.
September 9, 2012: "C.A.R.E. in the Square" was the theme of a special 10:00 AM outdoor worship service and picnic held at Leavenworth's historic Haymarket Square during the city's Buffalo Bill Cody Days celebration. The open-air service focused on our church mission statement: C.A.R.E. — "Cultivating Awesome Relationships for Eternity!" This event concluded with a pot-luck picnic.
October 10-12, 2012: The School Events Committee arranged a Family Field Day held on the weekend following the annual St. Paul Lutheran School Jog-A-Thon.
October 28, 2012: Our Reformation Service emphasized our German heritage.
November 22, 2012: Our 7th Street Feast provided community outreach and the opportunity for us to serve others.
December 1, 2012: The Christmas Market was our version of the German Christkindlmarkt as we began our Christmas celebrations.
December 9, 2012: The Historic Homes Candle Light Christmas Tour is an annual Leavenworth event, which when possible, includes an area historic church. This year St. Paul participated during the tour from 1:00 – 7:00 PM. We provided live music groups at both the Church and School. Hosts in holiday period costume with scripts, and all the holiday decorations welcomed the city and surrounding areas in for tours of both facilities.
March 3-10, 2013: National Lutheran Schools Week emphasized school days of the past. A special reception followed Praise Friday of that week.
April 20, 2013: The school's Parent Teacher League sponsored a School Dance.
May 17, 2013: The burial of a Time Capsule took place in the area of the south wall of the school wall prior to Graduation Sunday — including a bench over the time capsule and appropriate landscaping.
September 1, 2013: The final event of our celebration will celebrate the birthday of our school. Dinner at the school will include an address by the Kansas District (LCMS) Executive for Education, Jim Bradshaw, and the distribution of special commemorative crosses hand-crafted by the late Norm Nolop.