The Norwegian Church Service in Washington D.C. Inc.
The first worship service was conducted at Lutheran Service Center, Jackson Place, Washington D.C. on the 30 of March, 1947. The Seamen’s pastor stationed in Baltimore at the time was given the task to further his work to include Washington DC. There were to be ten monthly services held per year, the second Sunday in every month, following the school-year.
In 1963 the church-coffee-hour was instituted; what is a church-service without church-coffee? This in turn made an organization necessary, and the Church committee was formed. The committee was responsible for the business operation as it now had fiscal obligations: the salary of the organist and kitchen expenses, plus a pre-determined donation to the host church, all of which was covered by the monthly offering. The congregation could celebrate baptism, confirmation and marriage in their traditional manner, as well as Constitution day.
In 1980 it was time to move and the church took up residence at Grace Lutheran Church on Varnum- and 16th street in Washington DC. The choir was organized following year, which added valuable dimension to the services and special occasions. (Currently, the church is without a choir.) The church moved to its current home in 1997, the Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Bradley Blvd and Seven Locks road in Bethesda, MD.
Church calendar year and programs:
The church year starts in September with Family Day in the park on the Saturday preceding the Sunday-service. It is well attended and fun for the children.
Communion is served each of the ten months.
The children attend Sunday school during the service.
One of the big events of the year is the Christmas Bazaar held at Emmanuel on the Friday and Saturday in November, preceding the second Sunday service. The N.Y pastor, accompanied by all her/his helpers, arrives with a truck load of imported food- among many other things.
December is an exciting time with Santa Lucia pageant, nativity pageant, and singing and dancing around the Christmas tree, and a time for Santa and Norwegian Christmas cookies.
On Christmas Eve, the Norwegian church joins with all the Scandinavian communities in the area for a layman’s service conducted in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish.
The Constitution day, May 17th, is celebrated at the church with a parade, flags and accordion music, and a very special display of goodies.
The end of the year culminates with Confirmation. The recent introduction of reading the Scripture and the announcements in both English and Norwegian has proven to be helpful.
In 2016 the Norwegian Church and the Norwegian Society started a close collaboration and a shared website