Many people with ties to the Tiefengrund Mennonite Church near Carlton, Sask., came to relive the past, rejoice in the present and anticipate the future of this church community on July 24 and 25.
The celebration started on Saturday at Horse Lake Mennonite Church, the original Tiefengrund Mennonite Church building that was moved to Horse Lake in 1958 when Tiefengrund built a new church building. Walter Janzen, the pastor of Horse Lake Mennonite Church, led the service of remembrance and thanksgiving. During the time of joyful singing and praise, the song, “There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood” was well suited the occasion and setting.
From Horse Lake Mennonite Church the people went to Tiefengrund Mennonite Church where guests were warmly welcomed. After registration, guests viewed a DVD depicting the church’s history, events and people. The cemetery on church grounds was another site of reminiscing.
A delicious supper was served just before the evening program. Verner Friesen, a former pastor, sparked a spirit of thankfulness with an opening prayer which was followed by a time of community singing, group songs and music.
Allan Friesen, posing as a news media reporter, interviewed people of the congregation bringing to light information about the congregation. Wilmer and Barb Froese used a dialogue to review its history.
The elements which have shaped Tiefengrund Mennonite Church were presented as foundation stones of the church and community. These are: fortitude exemplified by perseverance and courage; pioneer-hood; freedom for love and hard work; families; fun; and foundation in Jesus Christ. The foundation in Christ was, and remains, the bedrock of the Tiefengrund congregation; it is the key for the future. The challenge is to dig deeper. Saturday concluded with campfire singing led by Russ Regier.
The weather was ideal for the Sunday worship service held in a large tent erected in the church yard for this 100th anniversary. Lorne Epp, present pastor, led the worship service. The Tiefengrund church and community loves to sing and the worship service was graced by melodious singing by congregation and choirs. Waldemar Regier, who grew up in the community but served as pastor in other places, came home for this occasion to bring the message. Using Luke 11:27-28, he reflected on how the Word of God had influenced the people of Tiefengrund church to spread all over the world. He quoted C.J. Dyck as saying, “ The Tiefengrund community and congregation is visible evidence of God’s love and mercy and part of his plan for getting kingdom work done in honour.”
The celebration concluded with a noon meal followed by socializing and farewells. Indeed, it was a celebration of grace and blessing!