Special services, guests at United Lutheran

CRYSTAL FALLS — United Lutheran Church will celebrate summer with special services and guests in July.

The Rev. Pete Warmanen, a son of the congregation and FLLC who is known for his enthusiastic approach to life and ministry, will be guest preacher Sunday and Monday, July 16. Warmanen is currently the lead pastor at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, Ill. He and his wife, Jen (Mackie) both graduated from Forest Park High School in 1995.

Warmanen received his undergraduate training from California Lutheran University and Central Michigan and earned a master’s of divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He served congregations in Medford, Wis., and Houston, Texas, before accepting his current call a year ago.

The congregation welcomes the Rev. Katherine Finegan, bishop-elect of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, on July 23. In celebration of 500 years since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, led by Martin Luther, Finegan will give a presentation on “Women of the Reformation.”

Finegan served as pastor of Bethany Lutheran in Republic before becoming assistant to Bishop Tom Skrenes of the NGLS in 2012. In August, she will assume her responsibilities as new bishop for the 80 ELCA congregations across the U.P. and northeast Wisconsin.

On July 29-30, the congregation will celebrate Christmas in July.

The Rev. Michael Laakko, United Lutheran’s pastor, explained, “It’s an opportunity to focus on the true meaning of Christmas without all the stress and holiday hoopla that often overshadows the December celebration. The ‘Joy to July’ worship series will conclude appropriately with the singing of ‘Joy to the World.'”

The congregation will also celebrate its 50th anniversary Aug. 12 and 13. In 1967, Crystal Falls’ Finnish Lutheran congregation merged with the town’s Swedish Lutheran congregation to become United Lutheran.