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Preacher returns to childhood roots for Calvary 50th anniversary event

Rev. Peter Vorhes, who was a youngster when his father, Rev. Arthur Vorhes, was the first pastor at Calvary Lutheran, delivered the guest sermon at the 50th anniversary worship Sept. 27. The photo on the screen in the background was taken on September 28, 1980 at Calvary's 20th anniversary celebration, and the men are, from left, Pastor Arthur Vorhes, Pastor Ed Nieman, Pastor Myron Albertson, Pastor William Reck and Bishop Cecil Johnson.1 / 2
A patriotic finale featured at the Calvary duo piano concert Sept. 27 featured four pianists playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" on two pianos. Joining Bunker, far left, and Stowman, second from left, were Richard Heisler and Anne Jorgenson.2 / 2

The 50th birthday year for Calvary Lutheran Church was launched Sept. 27 with traditional worship services, an old fashion potluck, and a guest preacher.

A special, duo piano concert was also part of the day's schedule, featuring Calvary music ministry director Russ Bunker and guest pianist Jane Stowman.

Delivering the sermon was Rev. Peter Vorhes, who was one of the earliest Sunday school students at Calvary, as his father Rev. Arthur Vorhes was the first pastor at Calvary, serving from 1959 to 1966.

Vorhes renewed friendships with several of the charter members who are still an important part of the congregation - including his Scoutmaster as a youth in the church-sponsored troop, John Knight.

The first service was exactly 50 years ago, Sept. 27, when there were fewer than 100 baptized members and the church had an annual budget of only $12,000. Sunday church attendance averaged about 70 in 1960--compared to nearly 400 each week in recent years.

The Sunday piano concert was a rare opportunity to hear two pianos playing together. The program varied from Bach to rhumba to blues to Mambo. There was a waltz, a Mozart piece and a variation on a church hymn, among other selections. Free will donations went toward scholarships from the Lakes Area Independent Music Teachers organization--of which Bunker is a member.

The next event for Calvary's 50th year will be Oct. 11, for the "Faith in Action" Sunday.

Following Sunday services, church members will go into the community to assist individuals, families, groups or agencies with needs such as yard work, roadside clean up, park clean up, and other projects.