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(Exodus 15:27) 

The Israelites came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and there they encamped beside the water. 

An Oasis Of Christianity in Ogden

In the beginning, there was Hanna Lund's parlor. That's where a small group of Lutherans began meeting in mid-1888 for informal worship services that would eventually lead to the formation of Elim Lutheran Church, the second oldest Lutheran congregation in Utah. The Lund home was located at Five Points in Ogden, Utah. 

By October 10 of that year, these few were joined by Pastor Frans August Linder and his family who was dispatched by the Scandinavian Lutheran Augustana Synod in North America. Before the year was out, the fledgling congregation had received the deed to a lot on the corner on 23rd and Jefferson where the present church is still located. Title to the property was held in the name of "the Board of Directors of the Church Extension Society of the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod of Rock Island, Illinois." It wasn't until 1942 that Elim held the property in its own name when it was incorporated in accordance with Utah law. 

The congregation was formally organized on December 8, 1889, when the names of the charter members were entered in the church register. This group consisted of Pastor and Mrs. Linder and three children, Mr. & Mrs. S.W. Linder, Lars Johnson, John Bergstrom, Emelia Nilson, Mrs. Johanna Hallander & four children, and Emma & Maria Bengston. 

Construction of a white frame chapel began in 1889 and was completed in 1890. It seated 150 and cost some $15,000. While construction was underway, the congregation met at the First Presbyterian Church about a block away. The congregation received financial assistance for many years from various national church sources. It didn't become fully independent until 1952 when it severed the last ties with the Board of American Missions of the Augustana Lutheran Church. 

Pastor Linder encountered other problems in addition to those usually associated with starting a new congregation. According to the Rev. Carl A. Glad writing on "Our Mission Work in Utah" in the Augustana Synod's Missionary Calendar, Rev. Linder found the native population so hostile that it was difficult to find a residence where he could live unmolested. At one time, while riding home from a funeral, two shots were fired at his rig, and, on another occasion, rocks were hurled into his bedroom. 

In the fall of 1891, Pastor Linder was called to serve Zion Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City. During the next two years, Elim was without a regular pastor. 

First Confirmation Class 

In 1893, the Rev. Peter Peterson became Elim's second regular pastor. During his brief sojourn in Ogden, he instructed and confirmed the first class of young people in 1895. These eleven comprised the largest confirmation class to join the congregation until 1945 when an equal number affirmed their baptismal vows. It wasn't until the 1950's that larger classes were confirmed. Pastor Peterson left after a little more than a year because of his wife's illness. 

During the subsequent interim of nearly eight years, the pastor of Zion Lutheran in Salt Lake City was in charge of the work at Elim. Some assistance was given by seminary students during the summers, but the real glue holding the congregation together during this time was a deaconess, Sister Huldah Hultquist, who spent considerable time in Ogden. In addition to her church work, Sister Hultquist was a nurse, and the money she earned from nursing was turned over to the church. She helped to organize Elim's Ladies' Aid society and Sunday School. Lengthy interim periods were to be a common problem throughout the congregation's first 55 years. During that time, the congregation was without a resident pastor for 22 years. 

Gathering the Sheep...Again 

Renewed interest and enthusiasm greeted Elim's next resident pastor, the Rev. O.A. Elmquist, who arrived in Ogden with his new bride in October of 1903. Before long, pews were installed in the chapel, and the pastor built a pulpit, altar and altar rail which remained in use until the building was replaced in 1948. He and Sister Hultquist presented an altar painting of "Christ in Gethsemane" to the congregation in 1904. It now hangs in the entry way of the church. In 1906, the Ladies' Aid financed an addition to the Sunday School room at the rear of the original chapel. 

A Luther League group of 18 young adults was organized in 1906. This group, unlike the older members of the congregation, used the English language exclusively in their activities and later became strong proponents of English-language-only worship services. As the Rev. Elmquist noted in his 1907 pastoral report, attendance at the Swedish language services had dropped off sharply. 

During this time at Elim, Pastor Elmquist also worked with congregations in Park City, Bingham Canyon and Rock Springs, Wyoming. Other pastors who would follow him also served these areas up until the early 1940s. 

Pastor Elmquist confirmed three classes of young people--in 1904, 1906, and 1907. In November of 1907, the Elmquists accepted a call to a congregation in Chariton, Iowa, and Elim once again became an appendage of the Zion Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City. Over the next 10 years, seminarians served between school terms, and classes were confirmed in 1909 and 1912. 

English Language Services Adopted 

Following his ordination in June of l917, the Rev. Arthur E. Olson became the fourth resident pastor of Elim in August of that year. During his five-year tenure, several important changes took place. The parsonage was rebuilt into a modern, up-to-date dwelling, the church kitchen was enlarged, and the church yard was landscaped. 

Probably the greatest change was a decision by the congregation in January of 1919 to adopt the English language for all church services. The Dorcas Society and Lutheran Brotherhood were established during these years, also the Sunday School made substantial gains in attendance and activity. Three classes of young people were confirmed in 1917, 1920 and 1921. In the summer of 1922, Pastor Olson and his family left Ogden for a church in Wausa, Nebraska. 

During a one-year interim, a seminary student, Bernhard Brynell, served as an intern. While at Elim, he meet his wife to be, Melvina Swanson. Their connections with this congregation would bring them back to Ogden after their retirement when the Rev. Brynell would help Elim through another interim period and serve as an assistant pastor. 

The Rev. Paul R.O. Erickson arrived at Elim in August, 1923, to serve two short term ministries. He left in October, 1926, and for the ensuing two years, the congregation was again under the pastoral care of the Salt Lake City parish. 

Holding It Together 

In August, 1928, the Rev. Roy B. Carlson began his ministry at Elim shortly after his ordination. He continued to serve the Lutheran missions in Park City, Bingham Canyon and Rock Springs, Wyoming, as had several of his predecessors. The great depression of the 1930s made it very difficult for the congregation to survive, much less thrive, during this period. Indeed, until World War II, keeping Elim alive was a constant struggle with membership never getting much above 50 adults. 

In spite of the hardships, Pastor Carlson remained at Elim for about 12 years, thereby providing the longest period of continuous pastoral care in the church's history up to 1940. During his ministry, the "Mr. and Mrs. Club", for younger married couples, was started, and the congregation's 50th "Golden Jubilee" was celebrated in 1938. In 1940, the Carlson family moved to Marshalltown, Iowa. Pastor Carlson died October 18, 1975, in Salt Lake City. 

During the next two years, the congregation was served by two capable seminary students--Neale Nelson and Carl Bergquist. Mr. Nelson later married Ruth Landvatter, a member of the Elim family. In the 1960's the Rev. Nelson served as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City. 

The Wartime Boom 

The Rev. Frank A. Johnson came to Elim in June, 1942, at a time when Ogden was growing rapidly due to wartime industries and defense installations. Elim's various clubs and societies reached out to welcome thousands of servicemen passing through this railroad center on their way to the war in the Pacific. Pastor Johnson began holding services in two housing areas for war workers (Sahara Village and Hill Field). In 1943, the Commission of American Missions sent Miss Lillian Anderson to Ogden as a defense area visitor. Her job involved visiting families in defense installation housing areas and inviting them to come to Elim for worship and social activities. Elim sensed a great missionary opportunity and began to renovate the old chapel and make plans for a larger new facility. During these years, the congregation also incorporated and began gathering funds for a building program. Pastor Johnson resigned in 1944, and a seminarian, Mr. J.R. Norlander, took over the parish work in the interim. 

A New (Recycled) Church Building 

During the summer of 1944, the Rev. L. Floyd Lewis of Duluth, Minnesota, accepted a joint call of the congregation and the commission on American Missions to serve as pastor of Elim and the surrounding defense area with specific duties at Hill Field, Sahara Village and Bushnell General Hospital in Brigham City. He arrived in Ogden on November 3, 1944. 

The Church Council and the new pastor moved quickly to set new goals for the congregation. A three-point plan of action was approved and included: (1) an intensified program of evangelism to increase membership and improve stewardship, (2) an all out effort to increase the building fund to $25,000 and hire an architect to prepare preliminary sketches and a prospectus, and (3) a plan for actual construction. 

On November 9, 1947, ground breaking ceremonies for the new church were held, and the Larson Construction Co. began work almost immediately. An agreement was made whereby volunteer labor and salvage materials could be used. Over 10,000 hours of labor were donated by the men of the congregation. Three government buildings at the Utah General Depot (now Defense Depot Ogden) were purchased, dismantled and the material salvaged. In addition, members of the congregation cleaned 50-60,000 used bricks. An agreement with a local brickyard allowed them to keep one brick for every two they cleaned. The Dorcas Society, Ladies' Aid and Ailota Girls served, baked, bought and sold meals to help out the workers and raise funds for the new church. At the height of construction, the building loan was canceled because the government ordered lending agencies to allocate a certain percentage of their resources to home loans. The empty shell stood vacant for several months until new loans could be negotiated. 

On March 7, 1948, the cornerstone for the new church was laid. Almost exactly one year later on March 6, 1949, the first worship service with communion was held in the new sanctuary. On May 8, the formal dedication of the building took place. In 1949, average Sunday worship attendance was reported to be 101 with average Sunday School attendance at 79. Those number dropped to 39 as Elim became an older congregation. 

Pastor Lewis accepted a call to Fontana, California, and left Elim in June of 1950. He died September 29, 1973, in California. During Pastor Lewis' tenure, church membership increased 120 percent to nearly 300 members, Sunday School enrollment jumped 175 percent, and the church's income tripled. A new organization for single women, the Ailota Girls, was established and Lutheran Brotherhood revived. 

An Unfortunate Interlude 

Pastor C. Stanton Peterson of Rochester, Washington, became Elim's next pastor in November, 1950. During his ministry, many uncompleted details of the new building were finished. The basement floor was tiled, and the interior of the church was painted. In January, 1952, membership stood at 362 baptized and 216 confirmed members. The Sunday School had enrollment of 130. That year, the newsletter "Scribe" was launched to keep members informed about church news. An unpleasant parting of the ways occured between congregation and Pastor Peterson in a dispute over decorating plans. It seems that Pastor Peterson thought the sanctuary whould be painted purple to bring out the purple in the stained glass windows. Unable to get the congregation to do this, Pastor Peterson enlisted his family and painted the entire sanctuary, including the doors, purple. After Pastor Peterson's resignation, there was a vacancy of two years with several calls extended and declined. One of the purple doors could be seen outside in the parking lot for many years afterwards.

During that period, the Rev. Julius E. Lorimer served as interim pastor for several months, and Robert Janes, a student at the University of Utah, conducted services some of the time. Mr. Janes later attended seminary and became a Lutheran pastor. He also married a daughter of the congregation, Doris Hess. During this interim period, the congregation began collecting donations for the purchase of a pipe organ. In 1955, the goal was reached. 

Growing Again 

In 1955, the congregation also greeted a new pastor. The Rev. Lowell Erickson and his wife, Claire, arrived in July, shortly after his graduation form the seminary. Church attendance, stewardship and membership increased greatly during the 5 1/2 years of the Erickson ministry. The new pipe organ was dedicated, two Sunday services were initiated and the church was soon too small again. In 1958, the congregation decided to purchase a new parsonage and use the old parsonage adjacent to the church as a Sunday School facility. Volunteers remodeled the building into six classrooms, and it was named "Glen Hall" in memory of Glen Sandlund, the only son of the congregation killed in World War II. A home at 1350 28th Street was purchased for the new parsonage, and the Ericksons took up residence there in the fall. 

During this time, Elim helped start a new congregation in Roy, Utah. Originally, the plan was for Elim to start a branch Sunday School in Roy, but response was so favorable that worship services were begun in March of 1955. Laymen from Elim conducted services until June when Robert Janes from Elim became lay pastor. The Roy congregation became a mission of the Augustana Lutheran Church in May, 1955. Land was purchased for future construction by late 1955, and the congregation, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, was formally organized on March 25, 1956. It remains a close sister congregation to this day. 

In 1959, Pastor Bernhard Brynell, Elim's first "son-in-law", retired from the full time ministry and returned to Ogden. He began assisting Pastor Erickson in calling, visitation of the sick and at Holy Communion. He also served as interim pastor between November, 1960 and January, 1961. 

The Ericksons accepted a call to Glendale, California, in the fall of 1960 and left Elim on December 1. By this time, the congregation had grown to 485 baptized members (310 confirmed) despite the fact that more than 50 members transferred to Ascension Lutheran Church (a newly formed congregation of the American Lutheran Church) that was organized in the fall of 1960. 

Remodeling and Expanding 

The Rev. Leonard Dalberg became Elim's 11th resident pastor on January 16, 1961. Under his leadership, the vigorous program instituted in the late 1950's was continued. There was a new boom in Ogden due to the space and missile industries that took up residence in the area. Membership continued to increase dramatically as did church attendance, Sunday School enrollment and financial support. A building program again became a necessity. A key piece of property immediately adjacent to the old parsonage was purchased in 1961, and a second key piece was bought in 1962. On December 31, 1961, the congregation held a mortgage-burning ceremony to celebrate the retirement of debt for the 1941-49 building program. Shortly thereafter, a fund-raising campaign began for the remodeling and enlargement of the sanctuary and the building of an educational/office wing. In January, 1963, the congregation approved a $115,000 building program. The low bidder was Larson Construction Co., the same people who built the church in 1948. Another wing that would run parallel to the sanctuary off the far end of the classroom/office addition was included in the plans for future expansion. That addition would have added a gym, more classrooms and a new kitchen. That part of the construction plan was never built, thereby leaving to yet another generation, the future expansion of the facilities. 

Ground for the expansion was broken on February 24, 1963. The rear wall of the church was removed and overflow space added with a balcony above to house the organ and choir. The entire chancel was rebuilt, and a new classroom and office wing was added. The "renewed" Elim was dedicated on October 13, 1963, just 75 years and three days after the congregation's first pastor began his work in Ogden. 

Pastor Brynell continued to share in the work and growth of Elim during this time. He was officially installed as assistant pastor in 1962 and served until September, 1965. Pastor Brynell died February 6, 1974, in Southern California. 

The year 1963 was a high-water mark for Elim in several ways. It celebrated its "Diamond Jubilee" anniversary, completed a major remodeling and expansion program, and reached a new high with 800 baptized and 450 confirmed members. For the first time in history Elim's income exceeded $50,000. It also started its first year as part of the new "Lutheran Church in America" which grew out of the merger of four large Lutheran synods. 

In September, 1967, Pastor Dalberg accepted a call to Church of the Good Shepherd in Concord, California. He has recently retired and lives in Buelton, California. 

Social Ministry Emphasis 

The Rev. Lyle Paulsen was called to serve Elim and began his ministry in November, 1967. During his term of service, the missile producing firms either decreased in size or moved out of the Ogden area entirely, taking with them many of the members who had joined during the Erickson-Dalberg era. However, the church continued to have an active youth program and confirmed one of the largest classes in history in 1971. The social hall was remodeled and redecorated in 1969.

Social Ministry programs became a very important part of the church's activities. Elim provided housing, support and volunteers for a community hotline telephone service, that continued through the early 1980's. The Family Counseling Service, Alcoholics Anonymous and the Head Start Program were also supported in various ways by the congregation. Pastor Paulsen frequently spent his days off cooking meals at a nearby alcohol treatment center. 

In 1973, Pastor Paulsen left Utah and moved to Tucson, Arizona. Eventually, he left the Lutheran ministry and became a member of the Unitarian Church. 

Transitions in Church and Community

Pastor Henry W. Reenstjerna of Brooklyn, New York, who had been serving a church in  Altadena, California, accepted Elim's call in August of 1973 and arrived to take up his duties on December 1. Since he preferred to build a home, the parsonage was sold. Through most of the Reenstjerna years there was a gradual decline in membership as the congregation grew older and the surrounding downtown neighborhood began to decline. However, income continued to increase to about $120,000 annually in 1987 and 1988, the congregation began a restoration program to fund badly needed capital improvements. The sanctuary was completely remodeled in 1987 and other major and minor renovations plans completed. Again, the men of the congregation did much of the work.

In the late 1970s, Elim's congregational president, Rollin Boe, was elected to the Synod Council of the Pacific Southwest Synod of the Lutheran Church in America.

Pastor Reenstjerna and the congregation continued to support many of the social ministry initiatives begun during the Paulsen years and added others like SHARE, a community food program for the needy, and the Battered Women's Shelter. In 1984, Elim opened its doors for a neighborhood after school program for latchkey children, fittingly called the Oasis Program and called Deaconess Karen McClendon to lead this ministry. 

There was also the development and cementing of ecumenical relationships with other congregations, particularly Good Shepherd Episcopal and St. Joseph's Catholic Churches. Together, these churches support needed community services like St. Anne's Center that provides meals, clothing, shelter, education and job placement for the homeless. They have also joined together for Lutheran/Roman Catholic dialogs, Lenten classes and services as well as Vacation Bible Schools. 

In January, 1988, Utah Lutherans gathered at St. Joseph's Catholic Church to celebrate the national merger that united the American Lutheran Church, Lutheran Church in America and Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Elim became a part of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA. 

Elim member Shirley Ash was appointed to the Outdoor Ministry Commission and the Minority Affairs Commission of the Synod, and Elim member David Thomas was appointed to the Inclusiveness Commission.

Pastor Reenstjerna instituted several adult courses including one that was particularly helpful to members who felt they needed to know more about comparisons between the Lutheran and Mormon faiths. He developed a curriculum called "Apologetics" that proved helpful in greatly lessening the minority complex that plagues so many non-Mormons in the land of "Zion". 

In the summer of 1988, Pastor Reenstjerna was called to lead a congregation in the retirement community of Sun City, California. They left Elim that August after serving for 14 years and nine months, the longest ministry in Elim's history at that time. 

Leaving No One Out 

Everyone, it seems, has his or her own favorite memories of Elim. Some remember special worship services, especially those around Easter or at Christmas. Others remember the warmth with which they were welcomed to the congregation or the kindness and support they were shown during times of trial. Church picnics that last all day and family potlucks are fond memories. And, of course, there were the seminary interns and other ministerial assistants who have not been mentioned so far in this account, but remain special in our memories. In recent years, they include seminarians Kenneth Mikulasek (1966-67), Neal Von Seggern (1967-68), and Jerry Kaskela (1978-79). The Rev. Robert Ove was an assistant pastor in the late 1960's, Betty East was a lay associate in 1976-77 as was John Krehbiel in 1984. Karen McClendon (1984-85) and Claire D'Aoust Corbett (1986-87) were both deaconesses. Pastor Kenneth Edwins and his wife, Elsie, came to Elim from Las Vegas between October, 1988, and May, 1989. Pastor Edwins served as the interim pastor during that period, and he and Elsie became a beloved part of the congregation. Linda Pearson (1993) was an Associate in Ministry (AIM) intern; the first such intern in the state of Utah, and subsequently the first AIM in Utah. And then there are the pastor's wives who have enriched the congregation in so many ways. Our special thanks for their service of love. 

Bridging the 20th and 21st Centuries 

Upon graduation from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, in May of 1988, Karl Kruse lived in Salt Lake City, where he volunteered his time at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, while at the same time interviewing with congregations throughout the Rocky Mountain Synod of the ELCA. In Elim's 100th year, Karl W. Kruse began his first ministry on June 1, 1989. He was ordained on June 11 at his home congregation of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Eagan, Minnesota, and returned to Ogden as Pastor Kruse the following Sunday. His installation was held June 25. 

In the fall of 1989, as a way of celebrating Elim's 100 years of ministry in Utah, the congregation decided not to buy itself a memento that would sit on a shelf, but instead gave a $5,000 cash gift to Grace Lutheran Church; a new ELCA mission congregation in Centerville, Utah. In 1995 Grace Lutheran Church moved into a church building of their own, just down the street in Bountiful, Utah. The people of Elim felt that it was fitting, that as we celebrated God's blessings on our 100 years of ministry that we would, at the same time, make a significant contribution to assist a new congregation get started in their own. 

Significant emphasis was placed on the congregation as not being seen as an "older" or "younger" congregation, but one that is truly multi-generational. The congregation became ethnically diverse. No longer was Elim a "Swedish" congregation. People who called the Elim community of faith "home" had ethnic backgrounds which included African American, Native American, Hispanic, Mediterranean, and Northern European. A great many people within the Elim community of faith were not life-long Lutherans, but came from a vast array of denominational backgrounds. There were also a significant number of current members who were converts from Mormonism. 

A new day can also be seen in the worship life of the congregation. As radical as that move to "All-English" services must have seemed in 1919, so also was there some initial concern in 1990 when the congregation made a full time commitment to offering two different formats of worship every Sunday; a "traditional" and a "contemporary" style. This commitment is for the rest of the life of the congregation and is drawn from a Biblical directive of hospitality. The worship experience at Elim was very sensitive to the unchurched nature of our current society, and sought to provide a meaningful opportunity for all people to participate in worshiping God. Whether one attended a service which is very formal and "traditional" or was part of a service which was held outdoors and was very "contemporary," that person would experience a very meaningful and "user-friendly" worship service. 

Elim continued its direct connection with many community agencies. Pastor Kruse served as the Vice President of the St. Anne's Center for the homeless. He was also requested by Bishop Alan Bjornberg to serve on the newly formed Rocky Mountain Synod Worship Committee, and did so for eight years. In 1995, Pastor Kruse was invited by the ELCA to lead "Alternative Worship" workshops at the ELCA Global Mission Event held in Fort Collins, Colorado. Working very closely with Elim's Worship and Music staff, he was also asked by congregations throughout the state and elsewhere to help teach how to effectively implement new styles of worship into congregational life.

Pastor Kruse also served on the Rocky Mountain Synod Candidacy Committee. In the fall of 2000, Pastor Kruse extended Elim's ministry by becoming involved internationally in the leading and teaching of prayer and prayer ministries. In 2002, Mrs. Joyce Toone was commissioned as Elim's first Minister of Prayer.

In 2002, at the Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly in Salt Lake City, Pastor Kruse's wife Nancy was elected to serve on the Synod's Congregational Ministries Board. She also served as the Executive Director of Community of Churches in Utah.

In 2003, Ginny Roberts was commissioned as Elim's second Minister of Prayer.

Throughout Pastor Kruse's ministry, the membership of Elim and attendance at worship services continued to decline. By 2005, baptized membership stood at 260, and confrimed membership at 207. An average of 64 people attended worship services, and Sunday School attendance, including both children and adults, was an average of 24, the lowest figures since 1944. Giving per confrimed member, however, stood at an all-time high.

In October 2005, Pastor Kruse accepted a call as Associate Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Again without a pastor, the lay members of Elim stepped up to keep the church going, especially Congregation President Rick Givens. Several supply pastors took turns in the pulpit, notably Pastor Robert Tyce. Other pastors who led Sunday worship during the hiatus were Pastor Duane Adams, Pastor Bill Heersink, and Pastor Steve Ingram. Lay members who preached included Rick Givens, Mary Givens, Ginny Roberts, Louise Cole, and Dave Thomas.

In May 2006, the congregation voted unanimously to extend a term call to Pastors David and Renee Kiel. The Pastors Kiel had been serving as joint pastors at Ascension Lutheran in Ogden, and recently, Pastor Renee had been on active duty as a U.S. Army Chaplain in Afghanistan. The Kiels were called to a nine month "term" call at one quarter time each, continuing to serve Ascension for three-quarters of their time. The call began on September 2, 2006, after Pastor Renee returned from Afghanistan. In October, 2006, Pastor David resigned his calls to both Elim and Ascension for personal reasons. Pastor Renee continued to serve as a quarter-time pastor, alternating Sunday worhip leadership with Pastor Robert Tyce.

In May 2006, the congregation was saddened to receive news that former Pastor Henry Reenstjerna had passed to glory on Friday, May 27, 2006, in Sun City, California, where he had been living in retirement.

In January, 2007, the Lord provided a new opportunity for Elim's need for a pastor. Pastor DanaLee Ommen was moving to Utah to marry Dr. Kirk Simon of Salt Lake City. Pastor Ommen was interested in Elim's part-time call, and after interviewing with the call committee headed by Joyce Toone, leading a worship service, and meeting with the congregation, accepted a call voted by the congregation. Pastor Ommen's first Sunday at Elim was March 25, 2007. Pastor Ommen brought a new emphasis on involving lay members in leading the worship service.

On May 27, 2007, Pastor Ommen became Pastor DanaLee Simon when she and Kirk were united in marriage in Salt Lake City.

There are many other people, events and programs that have made and continue to make Elim an oasis of refreshment in this desert. Several Elim families have been members of the congregation for generations. Others come, give of their time, talents and treasure for a few years, and then have to move onto other places where jobs or other commitments beckon, but their presence among us continues to add new enthusiasm and growth. 

Elim Lutheran Church has been, currently is, and by the Grace of God will continue to be a Great Commission congregation, committed to carrying out Jesus' words: "Go and make disciples of all people, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."

As the Danish hymn writer Nicolai Grundtvig wrote in 1817:

"God's Word is our great heritage and shall be ours forever; to spread it's light from age to age shall be our chief endeavor."