The Easter Service 2022 was something special. We celebrated with a lovely service complete with inspiring hymns and beautiful music. It was a special event shared by many in the church as well as those watching on YouTube. We were there to celebrate Easter of course, but also to inaugurate the renovated sanctuary. Finally, after months and months of planning, discussions, fund raising, design changes, member approvals, contractor sourcing, disappointments, job quotes, more discussions, and project delivery and completion - we were able get a revealing look at the results of these efforts.
It was on April 24, 1966, almost 56 years ago to the day, when the congregation’s founding pastor, Provst Poul Overgaard-Thomsen celebrated the original opening of our church. Some of us were there that day and do remember that very special event. And now to celebrate the re-opening of the refreshed sanctuary here in 2022 – that feels equally as a unique moment to remember. With comments from Pastor Simon and I as a president of the board, along with best wishes and blessings from our bishop Marianne Gaarden and DSUK General Secretary Selma Ravn, and with a good-sized crowd of our members, we welcomed the new sanctuary.
Now complete with contemporary Danish design lamps and chairs, fully refurbished chancel floor and furnishings, impressive altar paintings by a Danish artist, new cork main-floor, and a fresh coat of paint – it was a refreshing introduction to how the sanctuary now looks in the 21st century. The original frame and structure of the sanctuary is still very present. However, it is now complimented with a modern, yet still traditional look which is more friendly and inviting. As well, it can now also easily be converted for other purposes – ie concerts, presentations, etc.
It has taken the efforts of many different people to get us from the start back in the fall of 2019, to the finished product we see today. The upgrade committee, the architects, the board, the contractors, the importers, the members – all had important roles to play. We are grateful for the efforts of all these players. Tackling all these issues and then also having to deal with Covid made the effort even more challenging, but, as we heard, perseverance, leadership, and faith did bring it all together. And most of all, we must say a huge thank you to all of you who gave financial support to this project. We raised a total of almost $42,000 for this worthy cause from all the individual donations received for the Sanctuary and Art Funds. And we would not have been able to comfortably move forward with this plan if it wasn’t for the generous donations from the former Danish church in Grimsby, and the Verner Norgaard Estate. Thank you, thank you, and thank you - to one and all who gave these contributions.
After the presentation in the sanctuary, we moved downstairs into the Royal Hall to enjoy a reception of delicious open-faced sandwiches and refreshments. The room was nicely decorated with new white table cloths and spring flowers. There were posters with pictures from the original church building from 1965-66 - and a full set of pictures from the current construction from most of the 31 months it took to get this job done. Well-deserved thanks were given to the kitchen and set-up staff who worked hard for our enjoyment. All in all, it was a memorable celebration. Let’s hope we can keep this going once more for another 50 years or so. Congratulations to this church and its members – you have a lot to be proud of and thankful for.
Sune Overgaard, president