Wakonda Heritage Manor receives new worship center

Wakonda Heritage Manor receives new worship center
The Wakonda/Irene Ministerial Association has given a piece of furniture called a worship center to the Wakonda Heritage Manor. They gave it with the intent of enhancing the worship life of Manor residents. The presentation was made Tuesday, Oct. 29 in a dedication service that included speeches, hymn singing, scripture reading, and a prayer of blessing. Receiving the worship center on behalf of the residents were Becky McManus, administrator, Michelle Kelley-McDonald, activity director, and Shawna Stroman, director of nursing. Several residents took part in the festivities.

Ruben Doering of Wakonda was commissioned to design the piece and do the carpentry work. He chose light oak and built it as a combination worship table or altar along with a pulpit. The pulpit is portable and can be stored inside along with hymnals, candles, and any other worship supplies. The inside shelves are moveable. A large wooden cross that is inlaid on the front side adds an artistic touch. Should a different area of the Manor be desired for worship, the entire unit may easily be moved, since it is on wheels. At the time of the dedication, the new worship center was placed along the south wall of the dining room next to the piano. Doering was out of town the day of the dedication so he was unable to attend.

One of the certainties of life is that people who live long enough to become elderly will suffer losses along the way. There is a certainty of the church, however, that one's relationship with God is not one of the losses. Instead, the church believes that mature people can mature spiritually for as long as they live.


Recognizing these certainties, clergy and lay leaders of the church generally make nursing homes a top priority in their ministry. They hope to provide worship services that the residents will find meaningful and spiritually satisfying. This includes the setting or surroundings for worship. The worship experience is all the better when residents can worship where it both looks and feels like their home church. With these thoughts in mind, the members of the Ministerial did some brainstorming and their plans began to take shape.

Funds for the worship center came from the generous offerings of people in the community who attend the annual ecumenical worship services. These include the Thanksgiving Eve service, and the series of Lenten services.

In other community giving towards the worship center, St. Patrick's has donated a set of People's Song Book hymnals and a set of clergy chasubles in the different colors of the church seasons. Although these chasubles have seen their better day, the Wakonda Quilters, an ecumenical group of church ladies who quilt for charity on Wednesday mornings at First Lutheran, have taken on the project to remake them as table or altar cloths for the worship center.

Lay and clergy members representing all the churches of the Wakonda/Irene Ministerial Association participated in the dedication service. They were: Ruth Williams, lay "at large" member, Beverly Brady, Bethel Baptist, Pastor Anna Peck, First and Pleasant Valley Lutheran, Father Joe Forcelle, St. Patrick's Catholic, Pastor Elaine Miller, United Church of Christ, Pastor Andy Bartel, United Methodist Church, and Pastor Diane Koschmeder of Calvary Lutheran, Irene.

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