The Luther College congregation is hosting a shared worship service to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lutheran congregations in Decorah at 10 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, in the Center for Faith and Life on Luther's campus.

ELCA churches in Decorah, including Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, First Lutheran Church, Decorah Lutheran Church and Luther College Student Congregation, will worship together with a festival setting of Holy Communion.

Shuttle vans

Luther's Office for College Ministries will provide shuttle vans from the Regents Center parking lot and the parking log behind Preus Library for the Nov. 10 Festival Worship celebrating 150 years of Lutheran Congregations in Decorah (see release below). Beginning at 9:15 a.m., the Library lot van will pick up riders at the sidewalk near Preus Library; the Regents Center van will pick up riders at the north end of the lot, at the end of the lot away from the Regents Center. The shuttle vans will give rides back to the parking lots following worship.

Special guests

The Rev. Harold Usgaard, bishop emeritus of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, will serve as guest preacher. William Kuhlman, Luther professor emeritus, will serve as organist. A newly commissioned hymn by Luther faculty Carol Gilbertson and Gregory Peterson will be sung for this festival liturgy.

Congregation members, including children, are welcome to join the Festival Choir, directed by Jennaya Robison, Luther assistant professor of music and conductor of Aurora and Cathedral Choirs. The Festival Choir includes adults and children from all four congregations as well as Luther's Cathedral Choir.

The offering for the worship will honor the immigrant history of our congregations by supporting the Path to Citizenship Fund through congregations in Decorah, as well as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, and Lutheran World Relief's assistance in Syria. This will be a special offering apart from regular congregational offerings.


Rehearsal for the Festival Choir is at 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall, with Children's Choir participants joining the rehearsal at 3:15 p.m. Ushers and communion servers will meet for a brief rehearsal at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, in the CFL. Clergy vesting for the service to participate in the procession will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the CFL Recital Hall on Sunday, Nov. 10. The color of the day will be red.

There will be no Sunday morning worship service at Good Shepherd, First Lutheran or Decorah Lutheran Nov. 10.

Usgaard is the assistant to the president for church relations for Portico Benefit Service, the ELCA ministry responsible for managing the ELCA benefit program. He served as bishop of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod from 2001-13. Prior to his call as bishop, he served as a pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin, Minn., Mount Hope Lutheran Church in West Allis, Wis., and at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester, Minn. Usgaard holds degrees from Luther and Luther Seminary and was ordained as a pastor in 1973. He was born and raised in Decorah and currently resides in Rosemount, Minn., with his wife, Lynette. The couple have three grown children.