Lutheranch Ground BreakingMcKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center5/29/16In a year already filled with significant
accomplishments at Lutheranch, Saturday, May 28, 2016 will long be
remembered as a truly historic day when ground was broken for the
McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center. The service began at the
Southeastern Synod Assembly in Birmingham. Paul Schabacker, who
chaired the Site Selection Team highlighted how God’s hand was
evidenced throughout the ten year journey that began in 2006 when
hundreds packed the 755 Club at Turner Field to learn about plans for
a new outdoor ministry site and the following March when 600 from all
across the south converged on Lutheranch for the first open house. Pastor
John Weber leads Ground Breaking Service A real highlight was in January 2011 when Bill
Stender, Huntsville, refinanced the $2.6 million debt on Lutheranch
land at 0.5% interest, which will save the ministry over $2 million
in interest. The Board of Trustees recently named the campus under
development the “Stender Campus” in recognition of Bill’s generosity,
which was recently dedicated in memory of his parents, the Rev.
William and Roberta MacDougal Stender. Schabacker also recognized the
development staff team of Libby Bedenbaugh, Pr. Jan Setzler and Pr.
David Hart who worked tirelessly in leading the campaign throughout
the Southeastern Synod. God blessed their efforts with nearly $9
million given to make Lutheranch a reality.
Schabacker completed his remarks by introducing
Doctors Jim McKanna and Vivien Casagrande (right), Nashville, who
made the $2.2 million naming gift for the retreat center. Jim McKanna
was inspired to give through his German Lutheran ancestry of pastors
who were pioneers in this country and instrumental in starting
Wartburg Seminary and Wartburg College in Iowa. Jim’s uncle Sandrock,
Lutheran pastor brought him to Long Lake Lutheran Camp in Wisconsin.
McKanna and Casagrande were afforded a rousing standing ovation by
Dr. Vivien Casagrande and Dr. James McKannaBishop Julian Gordy led a “symbolic groundbreaking”
for the assembly and indicated that the dirt came from Lutheridge,
Lutheranch and from congregations throughout the Southeastern Synod.
He went on to explain that the dirt will be placed in a planter at
the new retreat center to symbolize the partnership of
congregations and members throughout the southeast. As the plants
grow, so will the ministry of Lutheranch.
Hurley, St. Paul Lutheran Church- Vonore,TN adds her dirt Doctors McKanna and Casagrande were the first to
turn the earth followed by Bishop Gordy who chaired “The Challenge”
campaign before being elected Bishop and Pr. Gary Christensen, who
chaired the “Standing on the Promise” campaign. John Schuerholz,
Atlanta Braves, served as the honorary chair for both campaigns. Four
board members also turned the earth including Mary Peterson, Pr. Dale
Sillik, Pr. Everett Flannigan and Paul Schabacker.
The assembly was then surprised with a live
“simulcast” of the actual groundbreaking service that was occurring
simultaneously at Lutheranch on the site of the new McKanna-Sandrock
Center. Pr. John Weber, Peachtree City, led the groundbreaking
service with Development Director, Keith Trout. Mike Mynhier, chair
and John Didicher, building committee members were the first to turn
the earth followed by youth members of SESYLO, youth
organization of the Southeastern Synod. Others present then
turned the earth and enjoyed hospitality courtesy of Grace
shares in the ground breaking Pr. Dale Sillik, a member of the NovusWay Board of
Trustees and Lutheranch Task Force chair concluded the presentation
at the assembly by outlining the construction timetable and what is
needed to “Complete the Dream” for the new center. Less than $500,000
is needed to fully fund the center and if all goes as planned the
center will be dedicated on March 11, 2017. Inspired by the
groundbreaking, eleven pastors and congregations expressed interest
in conducting campaigns and over $30,000 was committed by individuals.
Sillik concluded his remarks with emotion filled words of
thanksgiving, “We have an amazing God.” In those words Sillik
expressed the feelings and thanksgiving of the entire synod to our
faithful and awesome God!
If you would like to help “Complete the Dream” for
Lutheranch contact Keith Trout, development director, ktrout@NovusWay.com,
Amiel Trott, age 6
2016 Lutheridge Camper
signs the ground breaking
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ALL TENNESSEE 2018
122 youth and adults met November 10 & 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tennessee for All Tennessee. During the event youth from across Tennessee gathered to learn more about the "GODISNOWHERE" theme by participating in different activities throughout Saturday afternoon. Youth looked at where God was through an interactive Stations of the Cross activity, they also got to ask Pastor Ed Myers and Pastor Katherine Museus any question they wanted to ask, they learned about how we can be God's hands in the midst of disasters through the work of Lutheran Disaster Relief and put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief. To finish out their service that day they moved mulch on to the church's playground. Worship started with a group of youth from Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Mission leading in song and during the confession participants were invited to take a piece of string to represent their confession and tie it on nails that formed "GODISNOWHERE" - a powerful way to see that God comes to us in the midst of our brokenness and as we communed together we saw God come once again in the body and blood of Christ. Special thanks to the volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church for their hospitality and meals, as well as the ALL Tennessee planning team for their hard work putting it all together.