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Christ Lutheran Church Mission Statement

Christ Lutheran marks a half-century


his is the story of Christ Lutheran Church ‌. and how it came to be what it is today. Our congregation has journeyed a long

way since its humble beginnings here in Scituate way back in 1962. At every turn, across all the ups and downs, we have stayed true to the founding spirit of traditional Christian values and fellowship. Today, that same spirit is what makes Christ Lutheran so special for families and individuals alike in a world of rapid change. Like every good story, the history of Christ Lutheran has twists and turns, drama, joy, sadness, and some comic relief. The cast of characters is uncommonly diverse, for this has always been a congregation of unique individuals. As modern disciples of Jesus Christ, each of those individuals

has had a part in building and

sustaining our community of faith‌. and that faith has sustained us well over the years.

1960s - A vision becomes reality


hurch beginnings are auspicious moments, especially when the times are interesting. So it was with Christ Lutheran Church in the early 1960s. As American society began to witness signs of dramatic social shifts to come, the leadership of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) determined that the time was right to expand its presence in the Boston area. The burgeoning South Shore region showed particular promise for a new congregation to grow. A vision and a plan took shape for a new church in the coastal town of Scituate. Under the leadership of the newly ordained Rev. Robert E. Villani, a group of dedicated people met to form was to become known as Christ Lutheran Church. The first worship service was held on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1962, at the VFW post on Route 3A. Or the course of the next few years, Christ Lutheran became a church in motion - ,literally and figuratively. Worship services were held at various churches in the area while the LCMS Atlantic District purchased the lot where the church building now stands With the leadership of newly appointed officers the young congregation worked to establish the church in the community. Following Pastor Villani’s departure for a Western Massachusetts church in 1966, Reverend Michael Gruel was appointed mission pastor for Christ Lutheran in 1967 and accepted the congregation’s formal call in 1969, just as plans for constructing a church building took form. Christ Lutheran prepared to enter the new decade with a formal house of worship.

1970s - Putting down roots


hrist Lutheran entered the 1970s in grand fashion- with the formal dedication of its new house of worship on Route 3A, the main thoroughfare for the South Shore. On February 8, 1970, Pastor Michael Gruel accepted the keys to the building, and then led the congregation in a service of thanks and commitment. Among the guests: founding Pastor Villani, who graced the throng with a fine sermon to mark the occasion. Starting with first fellowship supper in the new building on May 1, 1970, the congregation became a creative engine of inspired initiatives to benefit the church and engage the community. A succession of evangelism and Bible based programs sought to foster the word, while several community outreach efforts brought new families to the church. Collaboration with four other Lutheran congregations in regions began in 1974 and eventually encompassed social events, confirmation programs, and joint worship on special occasions. Although some of the other congregations ultimately merged, Christ Lutheran remained strong and independent. A sunday school, summer bible camp, and a plethora of youth activities in the 70’s formed the foundation of the church’s commitment to young people that thrives to this day. By the end of the decade, Christ Lutheran had matured to the point where it could refine its ministry with an active Mary-Martha group for women…and add a new dimension to its worship with the establishment of a choir., Change…and some challenges…. loomed ahead.

1980s - The challenge of change


he theme of the 1980s at Christ Lutheran could well be summed up in two words: and

In 1980, Pastor Michael Gruel accepted a call to a church in Western Massachusetts, and Christ Lutheran’s longtime friend, Reverend Dean Tegeler once again stepped in to handle interim worship service duties. After some time considering its pastoral needs, Christ Lutheran issued a call for a seminarian in 1981. That call was assigned to the Rev. Douglas A. Rosenvinge,. He was installed on July 19, just two weeks after his ordination into ministry. Pastor Rosenvinge arrived to find a busy agenda of baptisms and marriages to perform. The church council was coming to terms with some necessary upkeep and renovations for both the church building and the parsonage. Many skilled members of the congregation helped minimize costs. Drawing on the groundwork laid a few years earlier, Christ Lutheran worked to expand its outreach into the community. Those efforts bore fruit under the steady guidance and dedication of Pastor Rosenvinge,. Yet, as the decade progressed, Christ Lutheran entered a period of prolonged struggle with economic conditions and changing community demographics. Membership dropped and finances weakened. In 19XX, Pastor Rosenvinge accepted a call to a LCMS congregation in Connecticut. Sensing the urgency of the moment, Pastor Dean Tegeler made a prayerful decision. In XXXX he stepped out of retirement to accept the congregations call to be a part-time pastor. His wisdom, common sense, and rich pastoral experience would prove invaluable in the challenging times to come.

Christ Lutheran Church‌

‌in the words of its people

1990s - Keeping the lights on…and the windows in


or many who experienced it, life at Christ Lutheran in the early 1990s is most vividly recalled in a single symbolic concern: will the deteriorating sanctuary windows stay in place…or just fall flat out of the building? This was a pivotal time. The struggling congregation could have easily been overwhelmed by financial and membership challenges … and just closed its doors for good. Instead, a spirit of determination and faith prevailed. The pastoral leadership of Rev. Dean Tegeler played a critical role. Pastor Tegler emphasized to church leaders and members alike that the future of Christ Lutheran was not in his hands….it was really in . They took his message to heart and went to work. By the end of the decade, the congregation had done much more than simply keep the lights on. Membership started to rebound, baptisms were increasing, and ad-hoc committees formed to address the big issues. Finances began to stabilize and the congregation made critical upgrades to the building and grounds. (The windows never did fall out; they got replaced by virtue of a special fund raising campaign.) Christ Lutheran was not out of the woods, by any measure. But it once again had a vision…and a steadily improving foundation for the future.

The new millennium - leaps of faith


positive Christian outlook has energized Christ Lutheran in the new millennium.

Even before the year 2000, good things were starting to happen… and in the twelve years since, the congregation has risen to one challenge after another. Over this time, Christ Lutheran has been graced with pastoral guidance well suited to the times. Pastor Tegeler began to think that he might someday even get to retire for good. Those positive thoughts became reality in 2003, when the congregation called Rev. Robert Schipul of Connecticut to be its new – pastor. During the first part of the decade Pastor Schipul brought a thoughtful, richly experienced…and prayerful…perspective. Leading up to his retirement toward the decade’s end, our church made yet another bold move by bringing in a mature seminarian – with years of secular business experience —to serve as vicar: Rev. Dan Eddy from Illinois. Upon Rev. Schipul’s retirement, the people of Christ Lutheran enthusiastically called Rev. Eddy to be their new pastor. All this has enabled Christ Lutheran to achieve much. For nearly eight years, the congregation operated the highly successful Herring Brook preschool that helped fund the Church’s growth. When the economy brought that venture to an end, members worked together to renovate the former school space for programs and social events.

During this period, Christ Lutheran has developed a robust missions agenda that has produced remarkable results for regional social programs such as The Ruth House for young single mothers and their children, Scituate food pantry, and the local animal shelter…as well as a host of overseas mission programs through the LCMS. There have been occasions when the congregation has drawn together to mark truly profound moments. Perhaps the most notable of these occurred in June 2005 when we honored the life and heroic sacrifice of one of our own young people – Sergeant Michael J. Kelley who died in combat far away in a remote and dangerous region of Afghanistan. Observers in the LCMS have noted that Christ Lutheran has come through trying times to become a truly “mature” congregation with an enduring character and strong sense of mission.


That surely doesn’t imply easy going; our church is comprised of people from different walks of life and civic perspectives. We have distinct points of view, some strong opinions, and even some friendly arguments. Our bond is a common faith that moves us to live and work together with an abiding respect that supercedes all that. We are today what we have always striven to be… an inclusive Christian congregation that thrives on fellowship and lives by the Word. ###

50 years of CLC baptisms‌. Catherine Elizabeth Pottier Kristen Andersen Ryberg Elizabeth Fay Villani Laura Ellen Villani Julie Ellen Schaut Anne Marie Ryberg William Norman Burriss John Joseph Villani Maria Helena Swensen Thomas Eawm Hobart Scott Morris Eaton Christopher Nelson Baker Maria Jórunn Cahill David Christian Gruel Kristen Jennifer Miller Susan Jean Habelt Laurice Jane Eaton Jennifer Anderson Steven George Domahidy Susan Christine Mahn James Ronald Davidson Heidi Ann Peterson Ryan Jennings Miller Bernard David Zilinskas Christopher Michael Gruel Rebecca Torrey Jennifer Eaton Cheryl Lynn Davidson Laura Clough Jonathan Clough Karianne Kelley Ryan Michael Savje Nathan Samuel Fiore Kristin Flaherty Joshua Fallon Hickman Jerald Benjamin Kamman Russell Harold Ellingson Daniel Thomas Hanafin Jonathan Eric Homewood Kenneth Charles Neville Emily Glasfeld Peck David O'Brien Kristin Anne Zilinskas Holly Ellen Hickman Heidi Louise McKenzie Lori Beth Ellingson Nathan Macabe Savje Michael Branden James Tracy Denise Torrey Joyce Ellen Torrey Sarah Marie Kamman

Michael Jason McCarthy Amelia Hunt Paul Andrew Mibus Joel Douglas Reese Megan Christine Allen Michael Frederick Savastano Nicholas James Poulos Katherine Mae Kamman Arlette Reinhilde McCarthy Greta Cummings Hickman Tara Michelle Mibus Corinna Ellen Noering Benjamin Jacob Francis Erica Elizabeth Zilinskas Erica Ehmann Rosenvinge Ross Isbrandt Ann-Marie anafin Marc Daniel Frnsworth Carissa Marie DeBord Lyndsey Anne DeBord Josylyn Louise Sevestano Aleshia Marie Ellingson Kimberly Anne Fitzgerald Holly-Anne Marie Hannafin Brooke Hilary Mibus Michael Thomas Farrell Samantha Lias Lalibarth Christopher James Lalibarth Griffin Randolph Olson Lindsay Lee Anderson Mark Edward, Jr. Finnerty Amanda Slagle Leeson Sara Anne Hauschild Peter Thomas Oksen Derek Richard Zimonja Jason Richard Foote Camrin Smith James Michael Sturgeon Zappolo Andrew David Oksen Peter Michael Henkel Dylan Jacquith Tierney Taylor Anne James Antonio Allan Donimuez Gerge Cobbeth Stephen Pembroke Sullivan Rebecca Foote Lindsay Zappolo James Robert Crowley Peter Michael Henkel Andrea Lynne Dockendorff Alexandra Grace Kowalski

Abigail Florence Slekis CamdenVasallo Suzanna Estelle Tempest Alison Jane Goddard Nathan Christopher Froio Robert William Dockendorff, Jr. Andrew James Slekis Piper Anne Tinory Vanessa Adjoua Isbrandt Thomas Austin Borror-Chappell Tess Kathryn Froio Derek Kohler DiVirgilio Denise Manon Noel Casey Nagel Habegger Callie Jiang Habegger Haley Katherine Dockendorff Victoria Louise Robasky Vinh Tuan Tran Charlotte Anne Donohue Emerson Rose Stout Ellison Wella Ervin Carter James Orr Kahterine Bennett Orr Ryan Matthew Hanafin Zachary Douglas (Teufel) Knight Rebecca Kristina Kohler DiVirgilio Owen Kofi Isbrandt Johanna Marie Kowalski Anya Michelle Lesher Abigail Grace Hunt Lilian Barbara Beard Alyssa Marie Hanafin Amariah Lynn Amarantes Charles Patrick Hess Sarah Grace Penney Brendan Joseph Beard James Freeman Hunt Douglas Wilkins Adelina Elizabeth Bain Karissa Marie Schipul Chloe Elizabeth Johnson Angus Duane MacNeil Ethan Enam Isbrandt Damian James Rizzo Marlene Marie Cunningham Lily Mae Christenson Robert Justin Schipul, Jr. Benjamin Richard Beale Margeaux Cummings MacNeil

…and confirmations Jules Douglas Reese Carole-Lynn Mackenzie Charles Walter Jenks , III Donna Macie MacKenzie Kristin Louise Feilgmann Janice Lynn Neville James Cahill Joyce Dunn Victoria Farness Mary Prahl Donald MacKenzie Wendy Vogt Scott Leddin Justin Kuo Christie Kuo Vicki Boynton Liz Nelson Roberta Rogers Martin Kuo Paul Vogt Leslie R. Bulloss Jill Anne Prophet Dawn Sue Ellinysen James Edward Cahill, III Cynthia AnnCoss James Vogt Henry Bush William Wagner Lisa Jackson Cathy Coss Keith Lockhart Douglas Wagner Joseph Helphrey Gerda Maria Cahill Marcia Joan Lind John Roger Helphrey Nancy Laue Kristen Cahill Matthew O'Connell Kristin Flaherty Lisa Woodlyn Diedre O'Connell Emily Glasfeld Anne Ryberg Amy Laue Sheryl Eaton Larry Francis Mollie Walp Richard Thompson Susan Howard Amy Riley

Sean Riley Moss Hickman Patty Thompson Maria Cahill Shawn Kelley Erin Mackenzie Dawn Gardner Robert Thompson Kristen Lorenz Stephanie Johnson Bernard David Zilinskas Joshua Hickman Scott Isbrandt Rebecca Torrey Karianne Kelley Alexandra Poulos Holly Hickman Laura Isbrandt Anastacia Poulos Kristin Zilinskas Benjamin Dunn Matthew Hanafin Sarah Johnson Michael Kelley Julia Ligman Ryan McWilliams Robert O'Brien George Cobbett Melissa Gardiner Carrie Brazel Jeffrey Johnson Stephanie Noering Nicholas Poulos John Hertig Geoffrey McWilliams Corinna Noering

Maia Zimonja Tessa Brazel Greta Hickman Michele Souris Anne Marie Hanafin Ross Isbrandt Colleen Kelley Nicole Souris Andrew Hertig Thomas Austin Borror-Chappell Erica Souris Stephen Sullivan David Thompson Heather O'Brien Toffer Noering Jason Foote Derek Zimonja Robert Hertig Keri Francis Lawrence Kenneth Francis Michael Zappolo Kerstin Francis Julian Herth Rebecca Foote Lindsay Zappolo Samantha Francis Josh Noel

50 years at Christ Lutheran Church… 1962 - The first CLC worship service was held on Easter Sunday, 1962 - Catherine Elizabeth Pottier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Pottier, of Scituate, became the first baby baptized at CLC. 1962 - Parsonage purchased at 30 Arborway Drive in Scituate for $24,700. 1962 - Beginning of bible classes, nursery service, adult discussion groups, a steering committee and the women’s guild. 1962 - First Sunday School pageant, held at Scituate VFW post. 1963 - Kristen Ryberg, son of William and Elsa Ryberg, became the first baby baptized at new baptismal font. 1964 - Church building lot on Route 3A purchased for $8,000. 1966 - First Christ Lutheran confirmations 1967 - Rev. Michael Gruel commissioned as “mission pastor” for Christ Lutheran. 1969 - Pastor Gruel’s installation. 1969 - Construction begins. Initial estimates for the 4500 square foot building are $108,000. The church orders 20 pews for $2,200 and an organ for $4,975. 1970 - Dedication of the Christ Lutheran house of worship. 1971 - Opening of nursery school for 3 and 4-year olds. 1974 - Regional Lutheran cooperative ministry begins with St John’s in South Weymouth, House of Prayer in Hingham, and Church of the Cross in Hanover. 1975 - Other regional ministry congregations merge. Christ Lutheran remains independent. 1979 - Christ Lutheran choir sings for the first time. 1979 - Mary Martha circle established 1980 - Pastor Gruel accepts call to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Westfield. Rev. Dean Tegeler becomes interim pastor. 1981 - Call issued for a seminarian. Rev. Douglas A. Rosenvinge accepts. 1982 - 20th anniversary celebration.

…a timeline 1984 - Sanctuary gets new carpet for Christmas 1993 - Pastor Rosenvinge accepts call to Lutheran congregation in Connecticut. 1994 - Reverend Dean Tegeler steps out of retirement to become part-time pastor. 1999 - Parsonage sold to fund church upgrades and prepare for full time pastor. 2000 - Herring Brook school established. 2001 - Church foyer and stairway redesigned and renovated to open up access. 2002 - Christ Lutheran issues call to Reverend Bob Schipul of Connecticut. 2003 - Pastor Schipul installed…and Pastor Tegeler finally retires. 2003 - CLC starts leading community Easter sunrise service at Scituate Lighthouse 2005 - CLC member Michael J. Kelley becomes the first hero from Massachusetts Army National Guard to fall in global war on terror. Memorial service is largest in CLC history with honor guard, honor bagpipe band, and Lt. Governor Healey in attendance. 2006 - Pastor Schipul announces retirement plans. Christ Lutheran calls seminarian Daniel Eddy of Illinois to be Vicar. 2007 - CLC Endowment fund established. 2007 - Pastor Eddy installed….Pastor Schipul retires. 2008 - Christ Lutheran conducts its first high-profile community service event: A fashion show benefit for the LSS Ruth House of Brockton. LSS names CLC one of its two congregations of the year 2009 - CLC develops 5 year vision for growth of programs, membership, and facilities. 2010 - Herring Brook school runs its course. Congregation renovates former school space for church activities 2010 - CLC introduces blended traditional and contemporary worship services. 2011 - CLC establishes parish nurse program and coordinated community outreach initiative. 2012 - Sergeant Michael J. Kelley Freedom Trail in woods behind the church finished and publicly dedicated. 2012 - CLC celebrates 50th Anniversary with gala event at the Barker Tavern. Former pastors Rosenvinge, Tegeler, and Schipul in attendance along with guests.

www . clc-scituate . org 460 Chief Justice Cushing Highway Route 3A Scituate, Massachusetts 02066 781-545-5271

CLC retrospective  

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