Shepherd of the Sierra celebrates four years
Tomorrow morning, March 5, Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church will celebrate the fourth anniversary of its founding with a number of special events to which the community is invited.
The Senior Choir of Shepherd of the Sierra will sing at both services, 8:30 to 11 a.m., led by well-known pianist, Dr. Robert Ruppel, who is a member of Shepherd of the Sierra.
The Rev. Ed Krueger, director of missions for the California/
Nevada/Hawaii District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, will be the featured guest speaker. Before becoming a district executive, Pastor Krueger pastored a mega-church in Tracy, Calif. His background also includes serving as director of Lutheran High School in Los Angeles. He will conduct the Adult Bible Study group at 9:45 a.m.
When Shepherd of the Sierra was given the old Southwest Gas Corp. building, which has become the first unit on the campus of SOS, it was also given a large flagpole, which has been centrally located on the property of the church. Buffo Electric recently provided a spotlight for the top of the 40-foot pole, and at 10:45 tomorrow, a special flag-raising ceremony will take place. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Isaacson have provided large American and Christian flags, which will be placed on the flagpole and will become a landmark, identifying the location of Shepherd of the Sierra from Highway 395.
SOS had a rather difficult beginning. The small congregation held services at Jacks Valley Elementary School. It was anticipated that the first building of the new congregation would certainly be completed within the two-year limit imposed by the regulations of the school board.
When the bids for the original plans came in much higher than the allowed budget, the congregation decided to use the Southwest Gas building, which had been offered. It was anticipated that the building could be moved rather easily and rapidly.
With only two licensed movers in the state of Nevada, not only did moving the building become a problem, the building had deteriorated to such an extent that when it was finally moved, only the steel beams of the building and the roof were usable.
Groundbreaking was held in October of 1998. By this time, winter had set in and construction slowed to a crawl. Then SOS was asked to leave JVES, but fortunately, the town board of Genoa agreed to let the congregation use the Genoa Town Hall – those Sundays when it was not being used for community activities like the Candy Dance festival.
“Of course, with the unsettled state of affairs, and with people not even knowing where to go for services much of the time, growth was hampered, and even the group committed to SOS became a bit discouraged,” said Pastor E.D. Thyr.
But with the dedication of the Christian Education/Youth facility at the end of last year, SOS is now able to provide a variety of programs and activities almost not possible when the group had use of a facility only three hours on Sunday morning, Thyr said.
Choir has been established, men’s Bible breakfast started and an exciting youth group now has its own facility where 15-20 teens gather regularly for meetings, topic study, recreation and refreshments.
“An enthusiastic group of members is reaching out into the community to let everyone know that SOS is here to stay and that God loves them and has an exciting plan for their lives – perhaps including involvement in the life of Shepherd of the Sierra,” Thyr said.
SOS is located at 3680 Highway 395, half a mile north of Jacks Valley Road on the west side of Highway 395.
For more information about Shepherd of the Sierra, call 267-3680.