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The 130th Anniversary Of Christ Lutheran Church

Dear Friends and Members of CLC,

On September 29, 1889 Christ Lutheran Church conducted its first official act, the baptism of Olga Frantz. Since that time God has ministered to countless souls. He has redeemed sinners, brought them into fellowship with himself, fed them with his Word and with the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. He has answered their prayers, received their praises, restored their souls and ushered them into the eternal habitations of heaven. This has gone on continuously for 130 years. 

Until the year 2010 Christ Lutheran Church resided at the corner of West 43rd and Robert Avenues on the near west side of Cleveland, Ohio. In 2010 she had to relinquish her glorious sanctuary due to shrinking membership, and unmanageable repairs. From 2010 till 2015 she shared the sanctuary of Unity Lutheran Church in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of Cleveland. And in 2015, by the blessed gift of Puritas Lutheran Church, she again obtained a home of her own.

This coming Sunday in the sermon, and at the pot luck lunch, we will remember and recount the many spiritual blessings bestowed upon Christ Lutheran Church over the years; and remember many of our fathers in the faith now in heaven. 

In particular let us never forget and always thank God that Christ Lutheran Church has been served by faithful pastors who preached, and defended true doctrine. Who guarded the church’s worship, and who fended off wave after wave of the ecclesiastical madness of the last 50 years.

But this would be impossible except for a congregation who has always understood that God’s house is holy. Not only functionally because of the holy things we do here. But factually sacred because it is dedicated to God "by prayer and the Word of God." (1 Timothy 4:13-14) 

Not only are Christians a “holy nation” as Scripture teaches. But this very house is sacred ground whose sanctity radiates into the neighborhood. So that by its very presence the church is salt, and light to all who reside within the rays of her warmth. Perhaps not one in ten people could name what blessing the church imparts in this godless age. But they recognize that Christ Lutheran Church is a beacon of hope and by it sense the presence of God.

This is not the end of the church's mission, of course, but only its beginning. As the Holy Spirit sees fit, in his wisdom, he will call, gather, enlighten and sanctify people. He will bring them into her doors so that here they might find what we ourselves have so richly obtained: the remission of sins, life and salvation in Christ.

Till then, in our generation, let us all do our part. Let us show our thanks to God for the many blessings here received first by continuing steadfast in worship every Sunday and Wednesday. Next by living a sanctified life in our daily vocation. And let us, like the "unjust steward" that the Lord commended in last week's gospel, use our time, talents and treasures for the furtherance and maintenance of this most precious gift dropped into our laps: Christ Lutheran Church.

May God the Holy Spirit move mightily among us. May he give us dreams and visions, and leadership like our forefathers had. And resources to be his church in our generation; and do all we can to preserve and expand the blessing for our children and our children's children and for all whom the Lord our God will call.

God grant it! Amen.

Rev. Dean Kavouras, Pastor
Christ Lutheran Church
Cleveland, Ohio