Our 60th Anniversary celebration of the church also coincides with the 20th Anniversary of our Christ For Kids Childcare Center and our St. Michael Lutheran School.
St. Michael was a Michigan District mission plant and some of our foundational members came from Zion. The first worship service (in which the charter was signed) was at Milham School in Portage on September 25, 1960. So we will have our 60th anniversary coming up this fall.
The first pastor of St. Michael, who was the District’s mission planter placed right out of the St. Louis seminary, was Rev. James Poerschke. Pastor Kenneth Allan followed him in 1963, and continued at St. Michael until his retirement in 1997. After spending about 10 years in retirement in Tennessee, Pastor Allan moved back up to Portage, and serves as our Pastor Emeritus, continuing to make calls, teach, and do some preaching. Pastor Paul R. Naumann was installed as Assistant Pastor on February 2, 1997. Following the retirement of Pastor Allan, he was eventually joined by Pastor Steve Thiel as Associate Pastor from 1999-2002. Later, St. Michael has been blessed to have Rev. Jason Toman serve as Assistant Pastor. Jason continues also to work as a part-time engineer for a local company.
2020 has been a year of challenges and joys, as through the pandemic we have gone to having pastoral devotions weekly and services broadcast on Facebook LIVE, electronic newsletters and parking lot services with drive-by communion offered. We said goodbye to our Director of Child/Youth, Andrea Lynch, and we welcomed Rev. Daniel Maske and family into our midst. He will serve as Associate Pastor and have a focus on the faith formation of our children/youth.
Everyone is invited to join us on Saturday, September 26 at 5:00 PM as we joyfully celebrate that St. Michael is “Sixty and Solid: Built On The Rock” of Jesus Christ 1960-2020! Christian recording artist, Don Wharton, will provide worship music and a concert following a celebration meal and program. Pastor Emeritus, Kenneth Allan, will share the Word with guests.
Members of the congregation have written devotions that are being assembled into a booklet that will be given out. In support of Lutheran World Relief we will be assembling about 1000 school kits to be shipped out. Recipes have been collected from members and a book is being printed for purchase. The Quilter’s group has crafted a beautiful workmanship that will be given away.
The story of St. Michael is really about the people whose lives have been changed for the better by the love of God in Christ Jesus. While we look back in gratitude at all the Lord has done among us and through us, we also know He still has much more that He would like us to do for Him in our community and world. Obviously, there are many people hurting these days financially, emotionally, physically and Spiritually. Our ongoing ministry will seek to address these concerns into the future. But as we celebrate God’s past faithfulness, we’re calling for a special 60th Anniversary Thank Offering to be contributed to LCMS World Relief and Human Care. They will apply our gift wherever the opportunity for Gospel-centered mercy and human care is most pressing or urgent.
So, please give this opportunity your prayerful consideration, and as we come together to Worship and celebrate on September 26, bring your contribution with you. If you are not able to make the anniversary event, feel free to give your offering at any of our worship services, deliver it, or mail it to the church or school office. If writing a check, make it out to “St. Michael Lutheran Church” and put “Anniversary Thank Offering” on the memo line.
Our goal in all that we have planned is to say thank you to God for all His good gifts to us over the past six decades. We are grateful to Him for this historic milestone, and look forward to the next chapter of service that by the power of the Holy Spirit He will grant us and guide us through. “Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His love lasts forever” (Psalm 107:1).