St. John’s to lead fair worship service Sunday
PLYMOUTH CO. — It’s a Sunday morning tradition at the Plymouth County Fair — a 10 a.m., worship service at the fairgrounds.
This year’s service will be conducted by St. John’s Lutheran Church of Le Mars, with the Rev. Chris Meier delivering the morning’s message.
The ecumenical service is attended by all ages.
The congregation of St. John’s Lutheran Church has a special reason to share their worship at the fair.
“It’s the 125th anniversary of St. John’s congregation. As a way of saying thank you to the community, we wanted to participate in the fair worship service and they were glad to take up our offer,” Meier said.
“We will have our contemporary praise team leading the worship music. It will be really more traditional songs and hymns than what would be presented for a contemporary service at the church,” Meier said. “Just a little more feel of Americana.”
The hymn of the day will be “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” by Julia Ward Howe, and will serve as the sermon hymn as well.
“That hymn has a pretty interesting theme for a lot of different reasons. So that will be a little bit of the focus I will be preaching on, how she wrote her hymn, why and the state of the nation at that time. The hymn was written in 1861,” he said.
“The worship service at the fairgrounds will be the only worship service we (St. John’s) will be leading this Sunday,” he said. “We’ve invited all our members to come and join at the fairgrounds, and we invite all the fairgoers to attend, too.”
Meier said he is eager to hear the singing of the familiar hymns.
“There’s nothing more fun than when you get a bunch of people together singing. They don’t have to sing great, but it’s just the voices together,” he said. “We are eager to do this, and it’s the best five days of summer. A nice time for everyone together.”
Each year, the fair’s church service includes an offering, which is given to the Le Mars Area Ministerial Association. The association uses that money for its transient and benevolent funds.
The chapel in Pioneer Village became the inspiration for a church service to be held at the Plymouth County Fair.
The chapel was built in 1976 to conduct services at the fairgrounds, according to information posted outside the chapel.
While the first services were held for those who were working on the fairgrounds, the service has expanded to be a community event.
The first complete service was held in 1981. The service moved inside to the Hall of ‘84 in 1986.
Century Hall became the new home of the church service starting in 1999.
Deb Baldwin chairs the chapel committee and coordinates the worship service each year.