In Cleveland since 1889
Christ Lutheran Church has continuously ministered to the people of Cleveland, Ohio since September 29, 1889. For her first 121 years she was located on the corner of West 43rd and Robert Avenues, on Cleveland's near west side. By 2010, due to increased maintenance and shrinking membership, she could no longer manage her cathedral sized sanctuary. The building was de-commissioned and sold. For the next 5 years the congregation shared facilities with Unity Lutheran Church in the Old Brooklyn section of Cleveland.
In March of 2015 Puritas Lutheran Church, being down to six members, and having learned of the Christ Lutheran Church's quest for a sanctuary of her own, offered her entire property to Christ Lutheran Church as a gift. The paper work and other arrangements took approximately 8 months to complete, and on November 29, 2015 Christ Lutheran Church celebrated her first Divine Service in the new property in a temporary chapel.
Nearly 10 months later, on September 4, 2016, by God's rich mercy we celebrated our first Divine Service in the refurbished sanctuary. Three weeks later, on September 25, 2016, the building was formally dedicated with more than 150 people in attendance. Though we are still a long way from completion, this house of God is beautiful, reverent and worshipful. Great measures of faith, hope and love have been poured into it by her members, and by others whom God's Spirit has moved to lend their assistance. We are grateful to all, but especially bless, thank and praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he who is the fount and source of every beneficence.
It is our prayer, that by God's continued mercy, we will be able to beautify this holy house even more. To that end on Saturday September 9, 2017 we replaced the empty cross with our new crucifix. The corpus was carved of wood, and painted, in Oberammergau, Germany. The cross was built by a retired carpenter locally, for the cost of materials only. This is the same craftsman who constructed our altar. The erection was completed by our members, it was an all day job for 15 people. But when it was done, it was love at first sight. Today, September 10, 2017, is the first Sunday it adorned our Divine Service, and the comments I heard were all positive. The crucifix sets a new tone, and reframes our theological thinking for the better.
We will formally dedicate the crucifix on September 17, 2017, the Feast of the Holy Cross (observed). Our goal now is to locate all the lovely liturgical art we can find and tastefully install it in the church. The members of Christ Lutheran Church fervently pray that God will continue to bless this effort, and use this congregation to the furtherance of his glory and the blessing of all people in and through Christ.
O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD FOR HE IS GOOD AND HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER.
(Update January 2, 2019)
As evidence of God's continuing mercy he allows his children the privilege of doing the most enduring work of all, the pleasant work of his Kingdom. Labor which, according to St. Paul, is "never in vain." (1 Cor. 15:58)
Below is a list of the improvements that have been accomplished between Fall of 2015 when we moved into the building, and Fall of 2018. It is impressive!
volunteers helped clean out the building after purchase of church
refurbished the chandelier in gym foyer
removed stage from altar area and re-fitted sanctuary for Lutheran worship
carpet removed in church
replaced all light bulbs in church with energy efficient light bulbs
removed old organ in balcony
installation of new organ and speakers
gym roof replaced and repaired other roof as needed
heating in church replaced
floor replaced in sanctuary
pews removed and reset for spacing
reset lectern and pulpit
altar area painted
communion rails stained and put back in place
cushions for communion area specially made
paraments were sized for new altar
curtains removed and cleaned
washed and waxed floor after work was completed in sanctuary
washed all pews after put in place
new windows in pastor's office and sacristy
new roof in pastor's office
sign made in front of church for time of service
new wi-fi thermostats
purchased tables and chairs for the fellowship room
new altar built
crucifix with hand carved and painted corpus constructed and mounted
altar furniture refinished
baptismal font refinished
existing pulpit repaired
sound system upgraded
choir room painted and shelves added
narthex doors fixed
narthex restrooms remolded
2 trees removed and others trimmed
front of church vinyl sided
garage vinyl sided
window sills covered
building painted – exterior
windows repaired & caulked (not completed)
fellowship room painted
pained the day care hallways
gym foyer and kitchen painted
pastor's office painted
new desk purchased
chapel appointed and decorated
gym painted at the cost of paint only no labor charge
outside of church painted at cost of paint only no labor charge
installed new lights in classroom
downspouts jetted out and parking lot sewers cleaned
restriped parking lot x2
(remaining projects for 2019)
glazing of gym windows on south side of the building
glazing of church windows
women's restroom in church hallway to be painted
new light fixtures in certain areas
Other than these few remaining projects to be completed the parish voted in its Fall 2018 meeting to put further building improvements on hold for the next 3 years and to dedicate our time to the building up of our holy faith.
To that end we have added an additional Divine Service to the church's worship life. The Service of Holy Communion will be celebrated each Wednesday at 7 PM, year round, in the chapel. The Service will be slightly different than the Sunday morning Service. It will contain only 2 hymns, and the sermon will be more instructional than liturgical in nature - thus providing growth in both the "grace AND knowledge" of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)
With this addition Christ Lutheran Church now provides 2 Worship Services (Sunday 10:30 AM and Wednesday 7:00 PM) and study opportunities (Sunday 9 AM, Wednesday 10 AM).
In all this may God be praised, and his heritage blessed.
ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 ... Christ Lutheran Church celebrated her 130th anniversary. Her people gave glorious thanks and praise to God for the "Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over," (Luke 6:38) that has been poured into their laps. Divine Service was followed by a pot luck lunch marked by good cheer, and the stories and remembrances of some of our oldest members. Through two of our very oldest members, a couple aged 88 and 90, we still have a direct link to some of the founding members who, in the 1930's, were the pillars of the church.
It's all rather humbling for mortals, but we also remember that with the Lord a thousand years is as a day, and a day as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8). Also that in Christ we have never-ending life. Eternal in both quantity, and quality; time and capacity for joy.
ON SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 ... Christ Lutheran Church will celebrate her 131st anniversary. Her people are grateful that God has kept her alive and healthy through the most irrational year of her existence. Sadly, we did close our doors for 2 weeks; for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, which was still a time of uncertainty. But if we had it to do over again, we would have remained open. But to repeat, we have all emerged alive and healthy. None has gotten ill from the virus: this in a congregation whose median age is 70 through 90. The only thing we changed is that we do not presently sip from the cup, which has been our practice, but we dip the host into the cup of the Lord's blood.
"Distancing" which is anything but "social" and definitely not "ecclesiastical" is no problem in a church that seats 200 people, with 30 to 35 in attendance. Everyone figured out on their own where they would sit, some wear masks, some do not, it is up to the person. We still have 2 members who have not returned because of underlying conditions, but we do stay in touch with them, and pray for them.
Otherwise God continues to bless the ministry of CLC. We pray Divine Service every Sunday at 10:30 and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. We have attracted several visitors, and a new member, because we are open for actual (not virtual) church. These, too, are mostly older people 60 through 80.
We are also richly blessed to have two Bible Classes with avid students, and lively discussion. On Sundays our topic is named "Revelation Like You Never Heard It Before", it is as the name suggests a study of the Book of Revelation, but from a liturgical and sacramental point of view. On Wednesday mornings we are reading the Epistles of St. Ignatius of Antioch, one of the earliest Church Fathers.
Otherwise all that is left to say is: God be glorified for the gift of his Son to wash away our sins; and for the church who administers this precious gift to all who desire it. "Whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life." (Jn. 3:16)
ON PENTECOST SUNDAY - MAY 23, 2021 ... Christ Lutheran Church consecrated 5 men to serve as Deacons in the church. They are: Deacon George Hastings, Deacon Steven Hlucky, Deacon Theodore Kavouras, Deacon Constantine Prassinos and Deacon Brian Schreiber.
These men have gone through formal theological study and training and will continue with ongoing education. They have worked hard and shown themselves to be leaders in the church. They have promised to carry out their duties faithfully, and to adorn the gospel of Jesus Christ with a holy life of love and service. One of the 5 deacons, Deacon Theodore, is has additionally been called to serve local Safety Forces Departments in the role of chaplain.
By the title deacon we mean the historic Office that was instituted in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3). This is a clerical Office that assists the pastor in leading holy worship, and in seeing to the temporal welfare of the church's members and beyond.
Deacons have carried out various duties over the Christian centuries. At Christ Lutheran Church our newly consecrated and commissioned Deacons will vest with Alb, Deacon's Stole and Cincture. They will process in with the pastor(s), read the Old Testament and Epistle Lessons, bear the Gospel Book as the pastor chants the gospel, hand out and receive the offering plates, present the plates at the altar, and ring the elevation bells. Deacons do not preach, consecrate the elements or distribute Holy Communion, though they do assist the pastor(s) in the logistics of the distribution. As the church grows, and as needs may change, the duties of our Deacons will also expand.
But for now we praise God from whom all blessings flow for bringing such blessing to his "little flock" in Cleveland, Ohio.