REAL FAITH ● REAL FAMILY
Why NLC? We have three really good reasons. We hope you will find these things abundant throughout the church.
Faith is the organic way in which the Holy Spirit moves and shapes us through all life’s experiences, through our successes and our failures. Because faith is a journey of an individual with Christ, Norway offers many opportunities in worship and ministry to enlighten that journey. As you grow in faith, we hope that the Holy Spirit sparks passion in you, so that others may witness your faith in action and, as a result learn, grow, and celebrate our Lord. For one believes with the heart and is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
Everyone is welcome, everyone belongs, everyone is loved! At Norway, we see everyone who crosses our threshold as a blessing from God. We strive to listen and to respect our differences while we celebrate our Lord who brings us together. Here no one walks alone but instead walks with a family while celebrating life’s joys, supporting one another during sorrows, and experiencing the journey, hand in hand. I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
Life can sometimes be overwhelming. Other times it brings happiness that we cannot even conceive. In your journey at Norway, we hope you find real tools of faith that will aid you when life is challenging. We also hope that you will find yourself surrounded by down to earth people willing to pitch in and help in those overwhelming seasons of life. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord yourGod.
Isaiah 43: 1-3
We are a community of faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit;
created to invite all to joyously follow the path of Christ.
Norway Lutheran Church is an Evengelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA).
In the fall of 1843, sixty-nine men signed their names to a letter requesting that Claus Clausen be ordained as their pastor, setting in motion the birth of the oldest Norwegian Lutheran Church in America. This took place as an outbreak of malaria wiped out nearly one third of the settlement. Clausen was ordained on October 18, 1843 in Even Heg’s home where the services were held.
The fledgling congregation lost no time in planning a church home atop Indian Hill. Construction began the following spring, and on Palm Sunday, 1845, the log church was dedicated. It was to serve the congregation for 25 years. Today it stands on the campus of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, a reminder of the little band of Norwegian immigrants who longed for a church home in the new land, and with God’s help made it so. When one enters that humble sanctuary, it is with a sense of awe and respect. Members of Norway Lutheran Church have made three pilgrimages there in recent years to work on preservation efforts and also to worship and commune in the church of our founders.
The present church on the hill, dedicated in 1870, was the second church of a growing flock and was used until 1954 when the present educational unit was built. A museum in the basement of the church on the hill documents our history. Worship is held in the Church on the Hill every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. during the summer. The Norway Historical Society placed a monument along the driveway in memory of the pioneers who died in the early epidemics that were buried in the common unmarked graves. The Society also was instrumental in placing the historic church on the National Register of Historic Places and erected the marker on the corner. Upkeep of the church on the hill is paid from trust funds designated for that purpose only.
The new church was built in three separate building programs: 1954 – the educational unit, which was also used for services for several years; 1964 – the sanctuary was added; 1989 – the office, library, preschool room and Sunday School classrooms were added. The property was also added to the sewer district and extensive decorating was completed. The parsonage was occupied by pastors until 1993.
Norway Lutheran Church’s year-long sesquicentennial celebration ended on Sept. 12, 1993 with an Ethnic Fest focusing on the diversity of the congregation today. The anniversary theme ‘On our way rejoicing I Jesu navin’ reflects our past, present, and future – serving in Jesus’ name, joyfully. A history of the church ‘In Jesus’ name shall all our work be done’ written by Pastor Karen Hanson, was published in 1992 and is available at the church or online for free here.
Learn More About our History
If you would like more information about history or ancestors please contact our church office (262) 895-2281.