On Sunday, February 21, 2021, Redeemer decommissioned her sanctuary. In different forms, the sanctuary had been in use since 1942. Worship services were held throughout the morning that day. The services were poignant and moving for members. During his sermon message Pastor Randy asked people to stand if they had been baptized, confirmed or married in the Redeemer sanctuary. Several stood each time. But when he finally asked how many held funeral services for a loved one in the sanctuary, it seemed virtually everyone was standing at the final 12 noon service.
Completing our Journey Through the Bible, Pastor Randy had laity read the last Bible readings from Revelation Chapter 22. Stephanie and Drew Dettlinger, the last couple to married in the sanctuary, read at 8:00 a.m. Steve Scheidt, lay leader for Sacred Space, read at 9:00 a.m. Jack Tafel, the last confirmed in the sanctuary, read at 10:30 a.m. And Paul Chesna, who was baptized in the sanctuary in 1943 and whose mother was a founding member in 1925, read at 12:00 p.m., as did Jeanne Hollis, who attended the sanctuary dedication in 1942 as a young girl. After each reading, a moment of silence was observed for Pastor Emeritus Milt Schemm, whose funeral the day prior was the last in the sanctuary.
The service ended in silence as the sanctuary was officially decommissioned by the symbolic lowering of the dossal curtain that hung above the altar, which was carried by members down the center aisle, for placement above the altar in our new interim worship home in the Redeemer gymnasium.
To view the services that morning via Livestream, click here.
Jeanne Hollis, who attended the 1942 sanctuary dedication, read the closing Bible verses at the final sanctuary worship service (accompanied by her daughter, Donna Hollis.)
Elders and other laity carry the dossal curtain, lowered moments before from above the altar, out of a darkened, silent sanctuary for the last time.