North Central College - Naperville, IL

Local United Methodist churches to celebrate Lenten service March 23 in Wentz Concert Hall

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Contact: Ted Slowik, director of PR and media relations, 630-637-5307

March 10, 2011—The public is invited to participate in a Lenten worship service March 23 with members of four Naperville United Methodist congregations as part of North Central College’s Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Vocal and bell choirs from the four churches will participate in the service. The four are: Community United Methodist Church, 20 N. Center St.; Grace United Methodist Church, 300 E. Gartner Road; Wesley United Methodist Church, 21 E. Franklin Ave.; and Wheatland Salem Church, 1852 W. 95th St.

The Lenten service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. There is no charge, but tickets are required; 200 tickets will be available to the general public beginning March 16; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) to reserve seats.

Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, an alumna of North Central College, will share the message at the service. Bishop Rader retired as an active bishop of the United Methodist Church in 2004 after serving for 12 years as resident bishop for the state of Wisconsin. Since retirement she has served as interim executive for the newly established Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church where all ministry and money come together, and as Bishop in Residence at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Currently she is the Ecumenical Officer for the Council of Bishops, acting as head of communion in many ecumenical settings.

As part the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1861, North Central College is hosting a three-day reunion of Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) alumni March 23-25. Evangelical Theological Seminary was incorporated in 1873 as Union Biblical Institute and housed in rented space in North Central College’s Old Main.

In 1908, the Institute purchased its own land and building and in 1909 changed its name to Evangelical Theological Seminary. It was the only seminary of the Evangelical Association prior to a merger in 1946 that formed the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Following the merger that formed the United Methodist Church in 1968, the Evangelical Theological Seminary merged with Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston and relocated to that campus in 1974.

“I'm excited to have a worship experience with so many musicians and friends of North Central College in this extraordinary setting,” says the Rev. Lynn Pries, North Central College chaplain. “This is a wonderful way to celebrate our Sesquicentennial.”

Many of the sessions taking place as part of the ETS reunion will be held in the College’s Koten Chapel, in what was formerly the ETS Administration Building and is now known as Kiekhofer Hall.