Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Good Shepherd parishioner celebrates 100th birthday

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A beloved parishioner at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church celebrated a century of living on the weekend.

After having a party at Seasons Amherstburg last Friday on her actual birth date, Nola Iler celebrated her 100th birthday Sunday with her church family at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Sunday.

Iler was praised by all who attended Sunday’s service and post-service fellowship lunch with certificates presented to her from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General Julie Payette, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Nepean Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod and even Queen Elizabeth II.

Recognition from the town of Amherstburg is expected in the coming days.

Originally from Ottawa, Iler came to this area about 75 years ago for schooling and met her husband Allan. When married, she moved down here and lived in the area of Simcoe and Seymour streets on what was then a farm.

The couple had no children and Allan – a.k.a. “Ducky” – died in the early 1990’s after roughly a half-century of marriage. Iler, described as being “very quiet” and a “homebody” still comes to church regularly and the people at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church have become her family.

Nola Iler blows out the candles on her birthday cake as part of a celebration held for her after Sunday
service at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Iler turned 100-years-old last Friday and family came to Amherstburg from as far as Ottawa to help her mark her milestone birthday.

That said, she still remembers all of her nieces, nephews and other loved ones.

“Aunt Nola is very generous to all of her relatives,” said nephew Keith Galloway, who was one of the relatives to come down from Ottawa for the 100th birthday celebration. “She always had everyone’s birthday on a list. She remembered and always sent them a card.”

Her church family said her stroganoff, desserts and other treats were always fondly remembered. Even when she could no longer cook, she would still bring something to church every Sunday.

Iler lived at home until she was 98-years-old, when a fall caused her to be in the hospital for a few months and necessitated her moving into Seasons. However, she is still a regular at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

“She is very active in the church and helped with all kinds of things,” said friend Anita Colley.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church dedicates new stained glass windows

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

New stained glass windows, created with the help of a local artist, have officially been dedicated at a local church.

The eight new stained glass windows in the sanctuary at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church were created by Larry Gardner of Amherstburg. They were dedicated as part of an Oct. 29 service conducted by Pastor Tim Schneider.

Heidi Gagnier, a parishioner at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, was part of a committee that worked with Gardner and his team to create the windows. The stained glass windows are illuminated by florescent lights as the sanctuary is actually located in the centre of the church building.

The entire process took about two years to complete, and involved Gardner bringing drawings to the committee and deciding what images and colours should be used in the stained glass windows.

“It was a process of getting what we wanted,” Gardner explained. “It was a collaboration between the congregation and us.”

Pastor Tim Schneider, parishioner Heidi Gagnier and Larry Gardner stand beside one of the new stained glass windows at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church that Gardner’s company created.

Gagnier said Gardner had done some work for her so she recommended him to the parish. She added a lot of people donated, but many chose to stay anonymous.

“For me, it was a wonderful experience. It really brought the congregation together,” said Gagnier.

Gagnier also credited Rev. Paul Pollex for his work when he was vacancy pastor.

“Rev. Pollex was instrumental in not only making sure the details found on the windows were Biblically correct, but helped us prepare the pamphlet describing the meanings behind the symbols and scenes depicted in the windows,” said Gagnier. “He was a great promoter of this project.”

It is also a teaching tool for children, with Schneider noting that he used the windows with a children’s group to talk about the images contained in the windows.

At the same service, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church also celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, which gave birth to the Lutheran Church as a denomination of the Christian faith. Schneider pointed out that Oct. 31 is the true anniversary date, when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenberg calling for debate.

“The debate never came and this event sparked a series of events that is known in history as the Reformation,” said Schneider.

Local church offers dinner to public to enjoy a late-Thankgiving or early-Christmas dinner

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Those who didn’t get a chance to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving meal or those who may not get a chance to enjoy a healthy Christmas meal were fed recently.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church presented a turkey dinner for the public and served roughly 300 people, a number similar to what the church served in 2015. Rev. Tim Schneider said it was for those who may not have a chance to have holiday dinners.

ood Shepherd Church gave back to the community late last month with a turkey dinner that fed roughly 300 people. The diners lined up for the meal.

ood Shepherd Church gave back to the community late last month with a turkey dinner that fed roughly 300 people. The diners lined up for the meal.

“They can have it here with us,” he said.

The dinners have been presented since 1999 and are open to the public for all to enjoy.

“If anyone needs it, we don’t charge,” said church member and volunteer Diane Ochs. “We accept donations.”

Last Wednesday night’s dinner not only drew people from Amherstburg but Schneider said there was a strong showing from Windsor with some coming from as far as St. Thomas. He added they use about 24-32 volunteers to help out.

The dinner is paid for through donations with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church alternating back-and-forth each year between local causes and international causes.

ara Nejati and Nathan Krey were just two of the volunteers that helped serve the evening meal to those who stopped by.

ara Nejati and Nathan Krey were just two of the volunteers that helped serve the evening meal to those who stopped by.

Ochs said they have assisted projects ranging from hospitals in Tanzania to helping the Amherstburg Food Bank and Crisis Pregnancy Centre.

The church also offers a day care program, including an area for infants.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church also put floats into this year’s Santa Claus Parade.