Friday, August 21, 2009

Ascension Lutheran, Toledo

This inner-city congregation was started in the early 1950's, and took over the building at Forest and Pinewood that had been home to Grace Lutheran. They stayed there until this facility at Dorr and Collingwood was built, 30 years ago. Now, several social service agencies operate out of the church as well. These photos are from two separate visits, the first one last March for a rummage sale, and the second one on Ascension Day.
When you enter the narthex area, you'll see pictures of their former pastors. Now, Pastor John Berger oversees the congregation.
As you first enter the sanctuary - actually, they call it the chapel, and it's a simple all-purpose room with a sloping ceiling - this is what you see, and I became very excited the first time I saw that, thinking that there was only one place this could have come from. But it wasn't until talking to Pastor Berger, at the Ascension Day service, that I was indeed able to confirm that.
When they left the old church, they took all these glorious furnishings with them, rather than leave them to the dubious future that the old church now has.
My mother was confirmed and my parents were married before this altar!
In order to turn the table into a freestanding altar, it was cut away from the reredos (possibly also something that had to be done in the process of getting the altar out of the old church). I've also seen this done in a couple of historic churches now, done nicely; and it's certainly more acceptable an option than just ripping the whole thing out and coming in with a plain, sterile slab of something that flies in the face of the church's historic character.
Lovely lace piano cover.
I'll have to take a closer look at the dedication plaques on the font and pulpit the next time I'm in there.
Fantastic carved wood eagle lectern!
Lovely silver pitcher in the Communion set.
There are two pews that came from the old church. Both are different. This appears to be the older of the two. It's in a corner of the chapel.
And this old pew is in the narthex.
A few photos from the Ascension Day service ...
I didn't make note of this vicar's name, my bad. He is from Detroit and was soon to be ordained. From listening to him preach about his experiences in the church and in the process of becoming a pastor, my feeling is that he'll be an inspired leader.
The multifaith choir draws from both Ascension and All Saints Episcopal on Pinewood.
The two directors were presented with certificates of appreciation.
This was a wonderful service. Pastor Berger sat this one out, and handed the baton off to pastors from St. Paul's, Salem, Glenwood, and All Saints. It was a beautiful liturgy and very enjoyable to hear a sermon from the pastor from Detroit. Ascension is a very small congregation now, but they partner with All Saints and the social agencies that work out of their location, and still do some very needed and blessed work in their central-city neighborhood.

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