50 Years of God's Amazing Grace at Grace!!
|Photo of the Parkside Lutheran Church store-front.|
The search for a suitable site began and an empty corner lot measuring 100 feet x 100 feet was found at 33rd Ave. and Ulloa. Problem: the lot was a sand hill rising 100 feet in the air and known to kids in the neighborhood as the "greatest sliding hill in these parts", but, to the parents, it meant misery!
Rainy winter days were a problem. The rain beat a loud staccato on the metal roof and just about drowned out the music, the service, and the sermon. It became a contest to see who could sing louder or speak louder so as to be heard above the din! Another problem was the heat: cold winter nights made the barracks into a freezer. It became necessary for someone to run up to the corner and turn the one heater on early in the morning in the hope that the chill would be gone by 9:30. The barracks was a real challenge. There were Easter and Christmas programs, confirmation classes the Church Women's meetings and a host of other activities which found a meeting place there, including Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, PTA Meetings, Nursery School, Dinners, Luncheons, etc. Grace continued to grow and soon spilled over to the neighboring homes to accommodate the increasing number of Sunday School children, church members, and community meetings. The Carlsen's home became an extension of the growing church. Classes were held there, the kitchen was a real necessity for the dinners and coffee hours, and the garage with all its woodworking tools came in handy. The Dietrich's home on Ulloa was also used for Sunday School as well as another home down the street. The barracks building began to burst at the seams!
In 1960, Grace as we know it today was completed. It was dedicated on December 11, 1960. The mosaic above the altar was designated and made by Margaret Baker Sarris using pebbles gathered from California beaches over a two year period by members of the congregation. Margaret was an artist in her own right and our mosaic has been recognized as outstanding art. Our church's sacred walls echo the names of so many who were the early members and so instrumental in its growth: those who help found the church and all the early members; all who have come into its folds over these many years; its pastors who have contributed so much; the organists and choirs who gave and are giving unselfishly of their special gifts; those who served and serve as teachers, officers, committee members, and in so many other ways; and our youth and children who are our church's future. We remember the births, baptisms, confirmations, weddings and with sadness the memorial and funeral services for loved ones.
Grace has continued to be a beacon for all. It has always been open to the community for so many wonderful things. The first 50 years... may Grace celebrate another 50 with the same love, patience, joy and peace.
Submitted respectfully and with love by Marion Carlsen