Mortgage burn

Sandra May, who served on Our Redeemer Lutheran Church’s finance committee, places a copy of the sanctuary’s mortgage on burning coals.

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Peters celebrated the retiring of construction debt with an Aug. 18 service of thanksgiving for the 800-member congregation.

The $1.2 million project began in the 1990s. The sanctuary now in use was dedicated in 1999.

Participating in a mortgage-burning ceremony were the Rev. Ann Schmid and the Rev. Steven E. Broome, pastors; the Rev. John F. Yedlicka, pastor emeritus; the Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, and Sandra May who served on the church’s finance committee with Max Rush, committee chairman, along with Bruce Engman, Marlene McGaffic, Carl Ruppel and John Till.

The mortgage later increased to add more space for children’s and youth ministry.

Sunday marked the second mortgage burning at the church at Washington Road and Gateshead Drive.

The first service conducted in the smaller first sanctuary was Dec. 15, 1963, and the campaign to retire that debt achieved its goal with the slogan “Debt-free in ’83.”

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