Mark your calendars! Grace Lutheran Church West Springfield invites current and former members to join us Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, for a special event welcoming back three former pastors. Join us starting at 9:30 a.m. for a worship service and luncheon honoring former Pastors Edwin H. Larson, Louis R “Rudy” Beyer and Robert Villani.
Pastor Beyer became the third pastor in Grace’s history on June 23, 1974. Beyer, who was chief pastor at Grace for nearly 20 years, co-founded the West Springfield Parish Association and served as Chaplain in the Massachusetts Air National Guard assigned to the 104th Fighter Group in Westfield, Mass., with a rank of Major.
After briefly serving in an interim role, Pastor Larson was installed March 20, 1994 and served the congregation until January 2002. During his tenure Grace purchased the multi-family house next door to the church at 1568 Westfield Street, converting the first floor to offices and Sunday School and meeting space.
Pastor Villani served several stints as interim pastor at Grace during the 2000s, after retiring from his role as founding pastor at St. Peter’s in neighboring Holyoke, Mass. In 2007 he was chosen as the recipient of the Sister Agnes Broderick Justice and Peace Award, a special recognition by the Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc., presented to a person who stands in compassionate love with the poor. In 2014 Pastor Villani is celebrating his 53rd year in ministry.
This is not only an opportunity to reconnect with pastors who have meant so much to Grace, but also an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been to Grace recently to visit us and experience the joy of our community and His love.
For more information contact Margit in the church office.