Ridgewood June 17, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 19 The congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran Church recently celebrated 50 years of worship on Linwood Avenue in Ridgewood. On June 21, 1959, a 200 car motorcade with a police escort led 800 people from the former church building on the corner of Doremus and Lenox avenues, which had housed the congregation for 47 years, to the newly constructed church at 155 Linwood Avenue. A brief valedictory service and closing ceremony at the old church preceded the motorcade. Members of the church council removed the altar vessels from the old church just before the doors were locked. They were transferred to the new church in the lead car. A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the new church. Pastor Andy Nelson commented, “I’ve known the people of Bethlehem and this church building since I was a child. Over the years, there have been significant changes in both the people and the building. Even though things change, we are all united in the salvation that is ours through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We all work together to proclaim the message of Jesus to our family, friends, and neighbors. This building gives us a place to come together and worship.” The congregation was legally incorporated in 1912 after being started by a small group of Lutheran Christians in 1905. The Rev. Frederick A. Ottmann was installed on Sept. 11, 1911. He retired in 1951. The Rev. Ewald H. Mueller served as pastor from Feb. 27, 1952 until June of 1982. After Pastor Mueller retired, Richard Koehneke was installed in July 1982 and served Bethlehem until 1993. Pastor Nelson, a son of Bethlehem, has served in his current post since 1994. The congregation’s first church, located at the corner of Doremus and Lenox avenues, was dedicated in March 1913. The original parsonage was built in 1920 and was vacated in 1953 for office and classroom space. The old church was sold in June 1959. On Oct. 10, 1955, the congregation took title to the 2.6 acre landmark Graydon estate. The house would provide space for the congregation’s expanding programs, including housing for student vicars and the sexton, and classroom and activity space. The original church and parish hall are of modern Gothic design, employing a stone and brick facing interspersed with limestone for decorative purposes. The church is of cruciform design, which provides adequate space for the Sacristy, a large organ, and a 60- member chancel choir. The pews in part of the original chancel choir area have been removed to allow space for the instruments of the Praise Band. Twenty-six stained glass memorial windows depict the growth of the Christian church. The scenes range from a Bethlehem celebrates 50 years on Linwood Avenue Nativity window over the entrance to the church, through the life of Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection, the early days of the church, and the reformation. All are welcome to join the members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The summer worship schedule is one service at 9:30 a.m. Junior League supports Bergen organizations 75th Anniversary Celebration Chair Stacey Sandler (Mahwah), JLBC President Sarah Beane Ricca (Ho-Ho-Kus) and Woodlea PATH 1 Advisory Council Chair Barbara Bolger (Ridgewood). ���������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������������ �� What could be bigger than the life of your kid? Prescription drug abuse can kill teens, but most parents are not aware of the danger. Place this coupon in your wallet as a reminder to talk to your kids. It’s one of the best ways to stop the abuse. Learn more at drugfree.org. SAVE BIG! Three local charities are now able to make more of a difference in Bergen County thanks to generous donations from The Junior League of Bergen Count. The JLBC is celebrating its 75th year by donating $30,000 to three local charities: the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, Woodlea PATH 1 Advisory Board (part of Children’s Aid and Family Services), and Rebuilding Together Bergen County. Each organization received checks in the amount of $10,000 at the JLBC’s Annual Dinner. Brought to Bergen County in 1998 by the Junior League of Bergen County, Rebuilding Together Bergen County is one of more than 200 affiliates serving cities, towns, and rural communities across the United States. Nationally, in 2008, Rebuilding Together celebrated its 20th anniversary and the repair or renovation of 100,000 homes. The Junior League’s $10,000 grant to Rebuilding Together was applied toward the renovation of the Shelter Our Sisters home in April 2009; and will continue over the next four years in the form of partial house sponsorships toward the renovations of homes for those in need in Bergen County. Additionally, the JLBC is partially sponsoring Rebuilding’s new lead paint education program. The JLBC’s history with the Woodlea PATH 1 Advisory Council began when the JLBC cofounded the Woodlea res- idence in conjunction with what was then Children’s Aid and Adoption in 1973. The JLBC is committed to continued support of the critical initiatives of the Woodlea PATH 1 Advisory Council. The $10,000 grant to the Woodlea PATH 1 Advisory Council will be used for facility renovations of a special sunroom to be used for quiet study and activity at one the residences. The Volunteer Center of Bergen County was founded in 1966 by the JLBC as a means of matching volunteers with available opportunities. The Volunteer Center’s mission is to strengthen the community by connecting people with opportunities to serve. The $10,000 grant to the Volunteer Center of Bergen County will be used in connection with its Mentoring Moms program, which trains volunteers to serve as mentors and role models for isolated and/or overwhelmed mothers referred by the Division of Youth and Family Services and the Welfare to Work Program. For each of these commemorative grants, the JLBC has the opportunity for hands-on participation, and looks forward to continued partnership with these impactful organizations. Founded in 1933, the Junior League of Bergen County, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism. Engaged? Just Married? Celebrating an Anniversary? Share the news with neighbors and friends! Announce your Special Event in ��������������������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������� We welcome photographs. Send announcements to: The Villadom TIMES P Box 96, Midland Park, NJ 07432 .O. editorial@villadom.com