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The History of Resurrection Lutheran Church

God's initial seed planting for Resurrection Lutheran Church started in August of 1979 when Pastor Boyd Molder was called to be Mission Developer for River Heights, Lawson Heights and Silverwood Heights areas of Saskatoon.

A portable classroom at River Heights School was our sanctuary for a short time and the first service was held in it on January 13, 1980 with 38 adults and 36 children attending.  The first communion was celebrated on February 10 and the first baptism on February 24.  In April, a Mission Statement Event was held where, with God’s guidance, our Mission Statement was developed and it remains unchanged to this day.  Our reason for being, our Mission Statement, is "Resurrection Lutheran Church exists to proclaim Jesus Christ as Saviour, in an open accepting fellowship, a loving caring community that reaches out to all people to serve Christ through worshipping, teaching, learning, sharing and giving of ourselves to meet the needs of this congregation, the community and the world, as the Holy Spirit moves us."

On April 27, 1980 the meeting place moved to St. George’s School and Sunday School began.  September 28, 1980 was designated Charter Sunday and the Charter was signed by 33 adults and 13 children.  The Charter Statement, our purpose as a congregation, reads as follows:  “We believe that Resurrection Lutheran exists to proclaim Jesus Christ as Saviour in an open accepting fellowship; a loving caring community which reaches out to all people.  As God’s people, we seek to serve Christ through worshipping, teaching, learning and giving of ourselves to meet the needs of this congregation, the community and the world as the Holy Spirit guides us.  With the help of Almighty God, we pledge to faithfully support and participate in the life of Resurrection Lutheran Church that together we may express the love of God we know in Jesus Christ through our church and our lives.”  Sunday morning teams, later called Ministry Teams were organized with the purpose of distributing the responsibilities for Sunday morning among all individuals and families in the Mission.

A building site, on 2.8 acres, was selected by the Lutheran Church of America on the corner of Lenore Drive and Roborecki Crescent and it was purchased in October of 1980.

1981 was the year of many firsts:  the curling bonspiel, Easter Breakfast prepared by the men, Women’s Fellowship Group, Vacation Bible School, Every Member Response, congregational picnic, and Confirmation Class. 

In 1982, our church name “Resurrection Lutheran Church” which was suggested by Pastor Boyd was officially adopted by the congregation at the Organization Sunday on October 24.  At the same time, it also became a recognized congregation of the Lutheran Church of America.  The Building Committee was struck in the fall and the first meeting of the Church Council was held on November 2.

By 1983, we had grown to 68 confirmed members and 146 baptized members.  On May 8, the groundbreaking ceremony of the building site was held and construction began in June.  On April 14, at the Synod Convention, Resurrection was officially received as a congregation of the Central Canada Synod.  God’s presence was indeed felt on October 9, when the congregational procession left St. George School to enter the new building for worship for the first time.  The official dedication was held on October 30, Reformation Sunday.  Thanks to the many donations, gifts and work done by congregation members, we now had an altar, pulpit, baptismal font, candle holders, built-in vacuum, mailboxes, refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, photocopier, piano, organ, baptismal pottery bowl, hymnals and communion ware.

Underground sprinklers were installed and the grass was seeded in 1984 and everyone smiled for the first ever photo directory.  We began supporting, and still support, the Saskatoon Food Bank with collections of food.

In May 1985, the founding convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) was held in Winnipeg, and, in June, the founding convention of the Saskatchewan Synod was held in Outlook.  Resurrection now became a congregation of the ELCIC and the Saskatchewan Synod.  By this time, Resurrection had 115 confirmed members and 223 baptized members.  Tree planting started in 1986 and the nativity scene was created and set up in December. 

By 1988, the congregation was at 165 confirmed members with 298 baptized members and, as God had further plans for us, a building expansion was being considered and in 1991 the congregation passed the Council proposal “that the congregation initiate the process of building expansion”.  In 1992, with 234 confirmed members and 396 baptized members, Resurrection celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a two day celebration on October 24th and 25th with approximately 200 attending the Holy Communion services on Sunday. 

Fundraising for the building expansion began in April 1993 and on September 25, 1994, Kindrachuk Agrey Architects were approved.  On June 16, 1996, a special congregational meeting was held and the motion to approve the preliminary design for expansion of the worship facility was approved and the architect was directed to proceed with the development of construction drawings.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 11 and construction began the summer of 1997.  Many members of the congregation contributed their time and talents in the construction of the expansion and we are very proud that the construction was done almost entirely by volunteer labour during the many Saturday Work Bees.  The expansion was completed in 1998 and the dedication of the new building was held on September 27.

In 1999, our Ministry Teams were re-organized and named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Our beautiful stained glass window was designed and installed on the wall behind the altar and a year later the round stained glass window was installed on the south wall of the sanctuary.  Our first dinner theatre “Sagebrush” was held in 2001 and received much acclaim.  It was the first of six annual dinner theatres.  The other dinner theatres were “Dead Flamingo” in 2002, “Animal Crackers” in 2003, “All I Wanted to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” in 2004, “Our Town” in 2005 and "Gaslight Follies" in 2007.  Also in April of 2001, 13 youth participated in “Mission to Mexico” to Tijuana-Tecata where they built a home for a homeless family.

2002 saw the dedication of the altar cross and altar wall.  God’s handiwork continued in 2003 when the labyrinth was created when high school students from Olympia, Washington were on a mission trip to Saskatchewan.  Prior to their coming, funds were donated by their home churches and when the students arrived in Saskatoon they were put to work at RLC laying the path as one of their many projects while here.  They were able to complete about 75% of the project and church volunteers completed the rest.  The rose design in the center displays the gifts of the spirit: love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, goodness, self-control and patience.  This was also the first year of the Christmas nativity ice sculpture.

Over the years, there have been many long running social events like the Silver Broom curling tournament, the Jabberwok golf tournaments, summer picnics, fall suppers and Kinasso retreats.  There have been many potluck lunches after Sunday service sometimes in celebration of an event or as a fundraiser for a special project.

RLC continued to grow and change over the next few years and in the fall of 2007 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary with a dinner and program. It was attended by both current and past members and all enjoyed the evening of fellowship.  In February 2009, a Visioning Day was held to guide the congregation in planning goals for the next 5 years and with God’s help we will continue to work on these goals.  Building improvements also continued over 2009 and 2010 with the renovation of the kitchen including an industrial dishwasher and hearing assist devices were purchased to help those who need a little help hearing the Word of God at Sunday services.

At the time of this writing, July 2011, the church’s membership is at 213 confirmed members and 240 baptized members.  Our mission statement continues to guide us in our life as a congregation and our daily lives as members of Resurrection Lutheran Church.  We welcome all, both members and visitors, as we worship together as part of God’s family.