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Bethesda Lutheran caps off year-long anniversary celebration

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Bethesda Evangelical Lutheran Church in Carlton capped off its year-long celebration commemorating the church's125th year on Sunday, Jan. 29.

With some 150 people in attendance, the worship service began by using liturgy and hymns from the early 1900s. As the service progressed, so did the style of worship used, culminating with contemporary worship accompanied by their newly formed "house band."

Guest ministers and speakers, as well as special music, highlighted the service and the year's theme, "Such a Great Cloud of Witnesses..." based on scripture from Hebrews 12:1, "Recognizing all witnesses among us, those who have gone before us and those who will come after us, a banner was hung with their names written on small clouds."

At noon, some 130 people gathered at the Four Seasons Sports Complex in Carlton for a banquet buffet and program. Friends from Bethesda's neighboring church, J.M. Paine Presbyterian Church, helped serve the beverages and cake.

The program included guest speaker Pastor Scott Jacob, assistant to the Bishop of the Northeast Minnesota Synod, a DVD presentation and music video about the life of the church prepared by Kraig Erickson, and special music by Colleen Myhre. One former pastor, Pastor Bill Pohl, and a congregation member who became a pastor, Pastor Bob Franseen, said a few words about their faith journey at Bethesda.

"This was the final event that concluded a full year of events and activities enjoyed by Bethesda members and friends to commemorate the 125th year of Bethesda's mission and ministry in the Carlton area," said Bethesda Anniversary Committee Chair Myrna Postal. "The church, under the pastoral leadership of Michael J. Fossen, is looking forward to a vital and growing ministry well into the future!"

To find out more about the church, contact Pastor Fossen at 218-384-4501 or stop by for a visit at 204 Fifth St., Carlton. Information is also available on the church's website at and on YouTube at