Weekend of events, open to the public, begins Friday, May 21
By Kristen Miller
KINGSTON, MN The Apostolic Lutheran Church of Kingston will host a weekend of dedication beginning Friday, May 21, celebrating its new facility, and welcomes the community to join in the events.
The new building is located west of Highway 15 on CSAH 27, just down the road from the former church building.
Building of the new church began in 2008, after the former building fell into disrepair, according to long-time member Harley Hendrickson. He is also one of the church board members.
Other church board members include Dan Salo, chairman; Brian Peterson, secretary; Bradley Rokala, treasurer; Douglas Saukkola, member; Joe Inselman, member; and Ben Aho, member.
The new building seats 100 people, though the average attendance is about 80, according to the church’s pastor, Orval Wirkkala, who has led the church for eight years.
The new facility houses a sanctuary, which can then be used as a fellowship hall.
“For a small congregation, it works wonderful,” Hendrickson commented.
Though it meets the needs of the congregation today, there are hopes to one day add on to the current facility.
“As the Lord provides direction and resources, we will be adding on,” Wirkkala said.
“If the money was here, we would start next week,” Hendrickson said.
The current facility includes a kitchen, office, two bathrooms, two utility rooms, and the combined fellowship hall and sanctuary.
The facility was also built with geothermal heating and air-conditioning, which the congregation hopes will help save money in the long run.
Other added features include concrete flooring installed by Carl Aho, which includes two crosses in the center of the floor leading up to the altar.
The pulpit and altar were built by 87-year-old Lawry Kilpela.
Looking into the sanctuary from the commons area, there are two windows (brought from the former church) that are personally etched with Bible verses and illustrations by Donna Hendrickson, Harley’s wife.
Along the walls in several areas of the church are artwork made with plaster. These were personally created by Paul Levijoki, a friend of the congregation, as well as a contractor from South Dakota.
The weekend of dedication will begin Friday, May 21 with a service at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 22, the congregation will host an open house for the public to tour the new church from noon to 2 p.m.
From 4 to 6 p.m., there will be an appreciation dinner for those who participated in the building process since most of the labor was volunteer. The public is also welcome for dinner. Following, at 7 p.m., there will be a church service.
The dedication will take place Sunday, May 23 during Sunday service, beginning at 10 a.m.
The guest speaker will be former pastor Arvi Aho, who served the church from 1993 to 2003.
“We welcome everyone to come and see our new building and meet friends,” Wirkkala said.
The congregation was established in 1896, under the name, Kingston Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church, but was later changed to the Apostolic Lutheran Church of Kingston in 1987.
“First, we are here to worship our Father through our Lord, Jesus Christ and bring people to the saving knowledge of [Him],” Wirkkala said.
The church also works “to be a light in the community and promote godly values and behaviors,” he added.
For more information about the church and its vision and doctrine, visit the web site at www.kingstonalc.com.