June K. Berg's Old Chapel Repair Memorial Fund
- Published on Thursday, 29 May 2008 17:02
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
l Stained Glass Window Photo above by Keith Olson
This quaint old Chapel was built by the members of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley, MN in 1916. The erection started with an official ground breaking in 1914. The church was later dedicated on June 15th, 1916. The congregation was officially organized with 74 charter members and 42 children. The old Chapel is featured in the Fridley Historical Society's book on the history of Fridley.
This is an historical building with a beautiful large stained glass window in the front showing Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This beautiful large old stained glass window was apparently installed in the early 1920's. Inside the Chapel as one faces the window, one can see a brass plate that commemorates the stained glass window, attached to the the wall by the lower right corner of the window. The brass plate reads: "In Memory of Charles Alfred Nelson 1861-1922 by The Nelson Family."
The repair and maintenance of this old original Chapel (Heritage Chapel) is an important function in preserving the church's heritage. The old Chapel is now a small part of the overall new church complex. It is however attached or connected to the main church complex, and is used for special functions such as weddings, baptisms and bible classes.
The old Chapel had special meaning for June in that many of our family functions took place in this Chapel. June and I have been members of the Redeemer Lutheran Church for over 50 years. The year 2008 was our 50th anniversary with the Redeemer Lutheran Church. June and our entire family all became members of the church on "World Wide Communion Sunday" October 5th, 1958.
June has been a very active member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church. She served as a Girl Scout Leader for the Church sponsored Girl Scout Troop in the early 1960's. When help was needed in the Sunday School, June volunteered to teach the third grade. (1973-74) June was active in the Bell Choir in the 1980's. June was also a volunteer for "Meals on Wheels." June served on the Church Board. June also served as a kitchen volunteer at Redeemer Lutheran.
June served as a volunteer to the Lynwood Nursing Home, every Wednesday evening for over two years. She participated in a dinner and visitation with the residents. June was also a participant in a Church afternoon ministry to the Fridley Convalescent Nursing Home. She also volunteered when the church provided periodic food and assistance to the Marie Sandvik Mission in downtown Minneapolis.
June was active in the Church "Ruth" and later "Rebecca" Circles and took her turn hosting meetings in our home.
June has sponsored a little girl from Kenya, Africa through the Church endorsed "Compassion International." June started her sponsorship in 1995 and has continued it to the present date. I have continued the sponsorship of a little African girl in June's name since Alzheimer's has taken June away.
June also participated in the College level, International BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) during the years 1992-1998. The group met weekly for Bible study at the church. She gave up the studies when Alzheimer's took over her life.
She still participated in the Senior Bible Studies as well as the Leisure League. She continued to take her turn as a Sunday Greeter at the front door until she had to go into a nursing home on March 16th, 2005.
Dean Eberhard (Redeemer) tells how June was paired with him as an evangelism team to call on members and visitors. This was a part of the Dr. Kennedy Evangelism Explosion program led by Redeemer's Pastor Erlandson in the 1970's. Dean describes June as:
"I remember for June, presenting the gospel was a very natural thing for her to do. People felt comfortable (not threatened) with her because she was so genuine and related effectively with them. Her love for the Lord shone through her as she conversed with the people...she had a special spirit about her and always smiling."
June is a role model in how she honored, loved and cared for her own mother. Her mom suffered a devastating stroke resulting in loss of speech and partial paralysis. For almost two years until her mom passed away, June faithfully drove every week from home (200 miles round trip) to see her mother in Wisconsin (spending a few days with her) to bring her cheer and to assist with her care. Her nurses reported that her mom knew the time and day of the week that June would arrive and would be sitting by the window watching for her.
(Photo on right-above of the Atler area of the Old Chapel - by Keith Olson)
June was a humble lady, who gave little import to her own accomplishments. June was also a lady with a grateful heart. During our meal grace times, June always thanked God amid tears for all he had done for her, even when she was a few years into the shadows of Alzheimer’s. June was a lady who did God's work and "Walked the Walk."
(Above two (2) Photos): The top photo of the two above was taken in August of 1992 during the Baptism of grandchild Brianna. The photograph just above this paragraph is June with Stan and was taken in the Old Chapel in July 1980 during a family wedding of one of the children. (Photo below): This photo was taken during the marriage of one of the grandchildren - Kristen (Todd) in 1988.
Donations to the Old Chapel Repair memorial fund can be sent in the name of the fund (The June K. Berg, Old Chapel Repair Memorial Fund) to:
The Redeemer Lutheran Church
Attn: Business Administrator, Annette Beseman
61 Mississippi Way NE, Fridley, MN 55432
Church Web Site: Redeemer Lutheran Church
Note: At the present time the fund has replaced the front steps (twice) and added railings, the front sidewalk, replaced the furnace, installed a new air conditioner, restored the large front stained glass window, replaced the outdated electrical wiring, replaced the old carpeting. Replaced the roof shingles, replaced the front door and remodeled the downstairs rooms appropriate for meetings. The Old Chapel Alter Cross has also been refinished. Other projects still remain.