Our mission is to share the light and act with love toward others. We carry it out by supporting educational opportunities at our local schools, partnering with county organizations to support foster kids, and donating food to a new homeless shelter in Ontario. Two local Scout troops use our church for their weekly meetings.
Since we don't have a lot of administrative costs, we decide as a congregation where our pooled offerings should be directed that month, along with our prayers and love. Here in a small town in the midst of a big agricultural county, we welcome everyone to celebrate God's grace! Jesus built community so successfully that right now, in the year 2020, in a tiny town in Eastern Oregon we are all gathered here today. Join us! COME AND SEE. As powerful an invitation today as it was 2000 years ago!
Grace Lutheran was built by community volunteers back in 1955, and our weekly worship services are centered around traditional liturgy and sharing God's loving word. We are one of116 ELCA churches in the Oregon Synod.
April 23, 1950 was the beginning of Grace Lutheran Church. Pastor Sherwin Schmidt from Faith Lutheran Church in Nyssa, OR, held services at what is today the Willowcreek Community Church. Called the Vale Preaching Place, Reverend Theo Brackman and Reverend TM. Gebhard shared leadership and led worship.
After several meeting places, by 1954 the congregation became Grace Lutheran Church and met at the Vale Grange Hall. Their ministry was part of a two-point parish with Faith Lutheran Church in Nyssa. On March 13, 1955, ground was broken for the Grace Lutheran Church building in Vale. Built almost entirely by volunteer labor of the congregation and many friends, construction came to a near standstill each summer as the pressing needs of farm and field were met. Most construction was done in the fall and in the winter, often under severe weather conditions. On February 16, 1958, the new sanctuary was dedicated by Rev. John Briehl. By June 1967, Grace Lutheran Churches mortgage was paid in full.
In November 1975, under the leadership of Reverend Walter Schmidt, ground was broken for an addition that would include the Sunday School space, a pastors study, and fellowship hall. In the following years, cement walkways, sidewalks, and a parking pad were added around the building. When the Nyssa congregation closed, Faith Lutheran gifted their paraments and other church furnishings to Grace Lutheran.
As the years have gone by, Grace Lutheran has continued to be active in fellowship, programs, worship, and outreach to the Vale community. They remain connected to and involved with the wider church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and its many opportunities for ministry and missions. Grace Lutheran looks forward to more years of ministry and service together as a part of the body of Christ in Vale, Oregon.