Shepherd of the Sierra to celebrate 5th anniversary Sunday |

Shepherd of the Sierra to celebrate 5th anniversary Sunday

Staff reports

At tomorrow’s 8:30 and 11 a.m. services, Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first service held by the young congregation.

Authorized by a mission committee comprised of members of Trinity Lutheran in Gardnerville and Bethlehem Lutheran in Carson City, the start of the new congregation was the culmination of several years of regular meetings. Demographics of the area were examined and the decision was made to go ahead.

At the time, Pastor E. D. Thyr was on the staff of Trinity, after spending most of his life as a mission planter in Southern California and Pennsylvania. Also a member of the mission committee, he was asked to initiate the work.

After negotiating with the Douglas County School District, Pastor Thyr received permission to use Jacks Valley Elementary School on Sunday mornings. Community-wide mailings announced the first service, and Shepherd of the Sierra opened the school doors for worship on Sunday morning, March 3, 1996, with a large turnout comprised mostly of enthusiastic supporters from the surrounding congregations.

“Difficulties in obtaining land for construction delayed plans for development so interminably that finally the group had exceeded its allowable time at Jacks Valley School and moved to Genoa where services were conducted in the Town Hall,” Thyr said.

After many delays, which included a disappointing attempt to build a beautiful chapel as part of the first phase of construction, the “old gas company building” was moved to the site and rebuilt for use by SOS.

“The refurbishing took over a year and finally the new youth/ed facility was dedicated in December 1999,” said Thyr.

The program of the church moved from a one-day-a-week operation to one involving nearly every day of the week, and the church began to grow rapidly.

Several hundred people are expected to participate in the morning activities of celebration, which will include presentations by the senior choir and a special message by the pastor. The community is invited and everyone is welcome at Shepherd of the Sierra.

For additional information, call 267-3680.