By Yadira Betances
---- — ANDOVER — Five years after planning an addition to its building, members of Faith Lutheran Church will celebrate its completion tomorrow.
Members will gather for only one service at 9:30 a.m. instead of the usual three, featuring Communion as well as music by the adult choir, contemporary praise band, adult bell choir and the children’s chime choir.
In addition, members who have contributed to the planning and building efforts will be recognized during worship. After the service, a procession will lead members to a dedication ceremony outside the church. There will be opportunities to tour the renovated church home, learn about the history of Faith Lutheran. A reception follows with games and a giant coffee hour.
The addition was going to be done in three phases, but the economic downturn made church members scale back, scraping plans to build a new sanctuary and restrooms. Instead, the renovation included 1,625 square feet of space that will include the fellowship, Christian education, youth group and storage space. The extension also includes a covered entrance and installation of sprinkler system throughout the entire church, two skylights in the foyer to help brighten the sanctuary and an air condition and heating split duct system.
“When we realized we could not afford it, we put our hopes and dreams aside and still everyone was behind the project,” said Roberta Ede, who along with her husband Tim Ede, co-chaired the Building Expansion Committee. Members voted unanimously for the plan.
“All of these changes are actually important for the life and events of the church,” said Susan Eliasen of Andover. “It’s not just a building, it’s our impact of the church community and the community at large.”
Eliasen joined the church more than six years ago.
“The fellowship and community has been welcoming from day one,” she said.
Members of Faith Lutheran come from Andover, North Andover, North Reading, Woburn, Lynnfield, Haverhill, Boxford and towns in Southern New Hampshire.
The addition cost $500,000 and was paid in full through pledges and fund-raising events.
In addition to a traditional and contemporary worship service, the church offers a lot of programs for teenagers and rents space for YMCA, community groups to hold recitals, blood drives and alcoholic anonymous meetings.
The church also uses social media to keep members aware of what is happening and to attract new people. Services are recorded and can be seen on the church’s website. The Rev. Jon Heydenreich has a blog and so does the youth group.
The doors from the sanctuary leading to the fellowship hall were widened. From fellowship hall, there are another set of doors leading to the back part of the church. Another feature is a covered walkway and two benches in the front lawn. In addition to the renovations, the church was painted and its carpets cleaned.
“One of the things I’m very proud of is that it brings a lot of style and a welcoming appearance to the outside,” Tim Ede said.
This is the fourth expansion the church has had.
Faith Lutheran Church will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year. The church held its first worship service Nov. 4, 1962 in the basement assembly room of Pike School on Porter Road. Services were held there for a year until the building was sold. The congregation then held Sunday worship and holiday services at Phillips Academy’s Peabody house. The present location was a strawberry farm.
Faith Lutheran supports local groups including the Prayer Shawl ministry, Habitat for Humanity and donates gifts at Christmas to Bread and Roses soup kitchen and Lazarus House Ministries, both in Lawrence.
In 2003, members started a partnership with the Lutheran Church in Rwehanga, Zimbabwe and their community school. Faith has not only sent school supplies, it helped develop a sustainable chicken farm and set up a grinding mill so residents can grind their corn.
N.H. Bishop to celebrate Mass
SALEM, N.H. — The Most Rev. Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, celebrates a Mass to pray for those affected by child abuse, Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph Church of Saints Mary and Joseph Parish, 40 Main St. The parish is teaming up with the Diocesan Safe Environment Council for the service.
Oct. 4 is the memorial of St. Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals. Area churches celebrate with blessings of the animals. Here’s a partial list:
Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m.
Sacred Hearts, S. Main Street, Bradford, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. Mary Queen of Peace, 200 Lawrence Road, Salem, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m.
St. Andrew Episcopal, 90 Broadway, Methuen, Oct. 7, 9:30 a.m.
St. Mark the Evangelist, 1 South Road, Londonderry, Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.
St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence,Thursday at 5 p.m.
St. Patrick, 12 Main St., Plaistow, tomorrow at 1 p.m.
St. Paul Episcopal, North Andover, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. St. Thomas Aquinas, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry, Oct. 7 at noon. All Saints, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill: St. Anthony’s fall devotion, Tuesdays 11 at 6 p.m. beginning with the rosary at 6 p.m., followed by devotions at 6:20 p.m. Educational workshop on “Death with Dignity Act” Oct. 11 7- 9 p.m. The question will be on the ballot and if passed in the November election, will legalize physician assisted suicides in Massachusetts.
Atkinson Congregational, 101 Main St., Atkinson: Cathy Dionne teaches Christian basics in “Are you smarter than a confirmand?” on the fourth Sunday of the month.
Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: The solar panels recently installed will be dedicated Oct. 7. Monday night prayer group meets 7-8:30 p.m. to listen to each other and God through silence, centering prayer and compline. Bible study on the Book of Acts meets Tuesday 2-3:15 p.m.
Corpus Christi parish at Holy Rosary, 35 Essex St., Lawrence: Mass in English and Portuguese is celebrated Sept. 30 in honor of the children’s Holy Ghost feast. “Why Catholic” a six week course based on the Cathechism, the Catholic church and scripture starts Monday at 1 p.m. and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Forest Street Union, 15 Forest St., Methuen: Dedication ceremony for the Searles Organ tomorrow at 10 a.m. The organ was repaired thanks to a $19,950 grant the church received from the Festival of Trees Inc.
North Parish, 190 Academy Road, North Andover: People interested in learning more about the Unitarian Universalist sources and history can join the Rev. Lee Bluemel for an introductory class, Exploring Unitarian Universalism on Sundays, Oct.14, 21 and 28 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to register, contact MembershipCoordinator@northparish.org.
Sacred Hearts, South Main St., Bradford: The reverends John Delaney and Ben LeTran offer the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, Sept. 29 after all the Masses.
St. Anne, 26 Emerson Ave., Hampstead: Bible study and praying with the scriptures Fridays at 7 p.m. “Seeking Christ,” an introduction to Jesus and the Catholic Church is an eight-week program for non-Catholics but want to know more about the Catholic Church, Tuesdays through Nov. 6.
St. Augustine, 43 Essex St., Andover: An eight-week guided prayer experience based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius is Wednesdays 7-8:15 p.m., through Nov. 7.
San Damiano House of Prayer, 333 Pawtucket St., Lowell: Spiritual retreat for parents who have the death of a child of any age and by any cause is Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Lucy, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen: Rachel Voiland presents “Themes in Scripture” Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Topics are, “God’s Loving Kindness and Mercy,” Oct. 3 and 5; “Covenant and Fidelity,” Oct. 10 and 12; “Grace and the Spirit of Adoption,” Oct. 17 and 19; “True Conversion and Repentance” Oct. 24 and 26 and “The Poor, Faithful Remnant,” Oct. 31 and Nov. 2.
St. Luke the Evangelist, 8 Atkinson Depot Road, Plaistow: Women’s breakfast and faith sharing Oct. 13, 9 to 11 a.m. It includes a pot-luck breakfast and Bible study for women called, “Courageous Love.”
St. James, Winter Street, Haverhill: A new course on “My Life with the Saints” by the Rev. James Martin begins Oct. 16 at 7:15 p.m.
St. John the Baptist, 120 Lincoln Ave., Haverhill: Members of the Marian Society devoted to Our Lady of Fatima pray the Rosary Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. The Rev. John Walsh leads a new course on “My Life with the Saints” by the Rev. James Martin, Oct. 17 at 9:45 a.m.
St. Jude, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry: St. Jude and the Rockingham County Deanery is hosting a series called “Ceasar’s Rivals: The Kingdom of God and Catholic Citizenship” Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. Robert E. Dunn Jr., adjunct professor at University of New Hampshire and lobbyist for the Diocese of Manchester leads the series on the Catholic church and politics. “Daring to Walk the Walk,” the first series of Walking Toward Eternity” adult Bible study begins Tuesday 8:45 to 10 a.m. Books are $15. To sign up, call Diana at 603-425-1795. The parish offers instruction to adults with special needs so they can receive the sacraments, Wednesdays 7-8:15 a.m.
Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish, 40 Main St., Salem: The program, “Exploring the Catholic Faith” where participants reflect on the Sunday gospel and discuss it, will be offered Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. through Easter.
St. Matthew, 2 Searles Road, Windham: Prayer group meets Tuesdays at 9:15 a.m. to pray the Rosary in French and share the gospel. A six week preparation for a Marian consecration is Oct. 18-Nov. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. The group will use the book, “33 Days to Morning Glory” handouts and DVD lessons by the Rev. Michael Gaitley. Cost is $15. To register, call the office.
St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: Mass of installation for the Rev. Kevin Deeley is today at 4 p.m. Reception follows.
St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: The parish is a regional site for a religious education program for children and adults with special needs who want to prepare and receive the sacraments. For information, contact Diane Jarvis at 978-683-9416. A series of catechesis for teenagers and adults takes place Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Talks focus on deepening or re-igniting one’s Catholic faith. “Life and Faith” adult faith formation series focusing on the sacraments will be held Thursdays from 7-8:30, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, Dec. 13, Feb. 21, March 14 and April 11. Bible study for people in their 20s and 30s meets weekly to discuss the Passion and Resurrection narratives of Jesus and will be held Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.
St. Patrick, 12 Main St., Plaistow: Women of Mary honor Our Blessed Mother Mary Oct. 6 beginning with Mass at 8 a.m. Participants will then caravan to the Madonna Queen of the Universe National Shrine for a pilgrimage. The Rosary will be recited in the shrine’s chapel. For information, call Linda at 603-930-6436.
St. Peter Episcopal, 3 Peabody Row, Londonderry: Centring prayer group meets Wednesdays at 7 p.m. for silent prayer and contemplation.
St. Theresa of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: “Love thy neighbor, know thy neighbor,” social event is today from 7 to 11:30 p.m. There will be live entertainment, dj, refreshments.
Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover: Religious school offers the program, “Holiday Happenings,” Sundays, 9:15 to
10:15 a.m. or 11:15 to 12:15 p.m. Dates are: Nov. 18; Jan. 6, 27; Feb. 10; March 17, 31 and May 5. The eight-week
workshop is for pre-kindergarten students and their parents or grandparents. It features hands on holiday activities, arts
and crafts, stories, singing and cooking. Children will learn their first Hebrew blessings. Cost is $150 for the first child;
$110 for the second child and $75 for the third child. To register, contact the temple’s religious school.
Trinity Episcopal, 26 White St., Haverhill: “Life Cycles” a program featuring worship, prayer, study, meditation and service meets tomorrow at 4 p.m. Dr. Frederica Harris Thompsett, professor of historical theology at Episcopal Divinity School.
Unitarian Universalist, Haverhill: The Rev. Frank Clarkson leads Lectio divina, Latin for “holy reading,” a contemplative way to experience sacred texts in a small group setting before worship services on the fourth Sunday of the month at 9 a.m.
West Parish Chapel, 129 Reservation Road, Andover: People who have loss a loved one, a job, home or a pet can sit in silence on the third Tuesdays of the month until October. Poetry, music and reflection are woven within the silence to create healing. Sponsored by Merrimack Valley Hospice. For details and registration, call 978-552-4904. Meg Holmes, Tai Chi instructor, retired school librarian and world traveler shares her hike on the Camino de Santiago Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. She will talk about training and preparing for the pilgrimage, show photographs she took and recite haiku poems she wrote. The camino was one of the three main pilgrimages Christians in the medieval ages aspired to make.