Voices joined together in celebration for the opening hymn, “Now Thank We All Our God,” in a service of worship at Nutana Park Mennonite Church commemorating 50 years as a congregation.
The theme of “blessing” infused every moment of the celebration service on May 3, 2015, which was postponed a week by a crippling snowstorm that kept everyone at home on April 26. A choir led by Duff Warkentin offered anthems of blessing and thanksgiving in English and German reflecting the origins of 50 years ago. Peter Hooge planned music for the anniversary service.
A birthday cake festooned with 50 candles caught the imaginations of the children. As part of the children’s time, worship leader Brent Guenther donned a party hat calling forward the adults who had grown up in the congregation to join the current group.
In short reflections, pastors Patrick Preheim and Anita Retzlaff spoke of God’s steadfast love and blessing. Five decades have seen significant changes in worship style, biblical interpretation and congregational membership. Several couples and individuals in attendance were charter members of Nutana Park.
The evening before the storm and the original date for the anniversary, a coffee house took place as scheduled. In spite of the falling snow, music was performed in abundance and in various styles, by three generations of Nutana Park congregants. A slide show prepared by Nicole Tiessen and Brent Guenther was part of the sharing of memories that evening.
Fifty years of pictures were displayed on the walls of the education wing, a project of Debra Heinrichs and others who helped document our history. Food was shared as usual. Potlucks are a very important part of Nutana’s history and community life. Carolene Funk and many volunteers hosted this essential part of church fun together.
God has been faithful over the years. The congregation at Nutana Park Mennonite Church gave thanks for such blessing over a half-century. Praise to God for the many years of sharing faith and friendships together and the gift of connections to the larger Mennonite Church!
Written by the church’s anniversary committee.
Under the direction of Duff Warkentin, the Nutana Park Mennonite Church Choir presents songs of praise and thanksgiving in both English and German to help mark the congregation’s 50th anniversary. (Photo by Howard Giles)
Nutana Park Mennonite Church celebrates 50 years of God’s blessing with a special time of worship, led by Brent Guenther, on May 3, 2015. (Photo by Howard Giles)
Donning a party hat, worship leader Brent Guenther invited adults who had grown up in the congregation to join the children at the front of the sanctuary for a children’s time, complete with birthday cake. Seated behind the cake is Susan Ens Funk. (Photo by Howard Giles)
Children of Nutana Park Mennonite Church, assisted by their parents, create 50th birthday cards in celebration of the church’s 50th anniversary. (Photo by Howard Giles)