Asbury United Methodist Church marks its second, and last, centennial at its downtown church this weekend.
The congregation invites the community to a celebration at 10 a.m. Saturday, honoring the 100th anniversary of the construction of the existing sanctuary.
On Dec. 30, the congregation will worship for the final time in the building, which will be closed and put up for sale.
Also this weekend, the church hosts its final basement bazaar, Friday and Saturday, and its 10 a.m. workshop on Sunday will celebrate the 100 years. The final service in the church, “Bells of Christmas,” will be Dec. 30. (See A11 for more event details.)
On Jan. 1, Asbury and Our Redeemer Lutheran will begin functioning as one yoked worshiping body, creating a Covenant of Union that will be voted on in June 2013. This formalizes a partnership agreement that the members of both churches agreed to in 2010.
As of Jan. 6, 2013, the congregation will use the Our Redeemer building, 1140 Tucker Road, as its workshop center.
Currently the joined congregation is known as LAMP — Lutherans and Methodists in Partnership.
Saturday’s event is described as “honoring the past, celebrating the present and moving into the future,” according to Wendle, who has overseen the church’s partnership with Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.
Wendle said exorbitant heating costs and the high cost of repair and maintenance of the old building, along with the declining number of members, led to the decision.
“There have been a lot of tears, of sadness as well as joy,” he said.
Methodists had settled in the Hood River Valley as early as 1875 when the Mansfield Pacific Colony arrived at the urging of Dr. Percy Barrett, who had arrived in 1871.
The Hood River Asbury church was formed in 1882 and built a church at Belmont Drive and Methodist Road, west of Hood River, in 1886, and moved to the State Street location in 1896.
The building underwent a variety of changes, and in 1912 the sanctuary was built. A Hood River Japanese Church, started by a minister from Seattle in 1920, was organized as a church in October 1926, and shared the Asbury facilities since 1945.
In the 1950s, a downstairs social hall, kitchen and heating plant were added. The Japanese church helped finance the partitioning of the classrooms upstairs. One Sunday school room is named in their honor — the Izumi Room, which means “living water,” a topic addressed in John 4:14.
A new Wicks pipe organ was dedicated on Dec. 8, 1912. It is still used for worship, although an electric pump replaced the old hand pump bellows used when it was first installed.
n Dec. 7-8 — Asbury Christmas Bazaar. All profits will go to support the FISH Food Bank building fund.
n Dec. 8, 10 a.m. — Community Celebration of 100 years
n Dec. 9, 10 a.m. — Worship service celebrating 100 years
n Dec. 12 and 19, 6 p.m. — Mid-week Advent worship at Our Redeemer Lutheran, 1140 Tucker Road, Hood River
n Dec. 16, 10 a.m. — Advent Worship Service and Children’s Christmas program following worship
n Dec. 23, 10 a.m. — Final Advent worship service
n Dec. 24, 7 p.m. — Christmas Eve candlelight worship service
n Dec. 30, 10 a.m. — Bells of Christmas worship service