Pastor installed for Saint Boniface, new community church
Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2005
By By MIKELL FREY / Niles Daily Star
On Sunday, Reverand John S. Rutowicz will be installed as pastor at the newly established Saint Boniface Evangelical Lutheran Church, in a special ceremony during their regular 9 a.m. service.
Pastors James Heiser of Malone, Texas, and C. D. Hudson of Richmond, Mo., two pastors Rutowicz has come to know personally through a fellowship of their traditional Lutheran churches, will be coming up to officiate the installation ceremony.
Rutowicz was called to become pastor of this newly established church on Sept. 1, and has been working to establish himself and the church within the community ever since.
Rutowicz began his journey to becoming a pastor as a young adult at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he received his master of divinity after eight years.
After his graduation, Rutowicz served for one year at Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Ocheyedan, Ia. At the end of 2001 he moved to Niles and served as associate pastor of Saint Paul's Lutheran Church until July, 2004. Now, with his new parish and church, Rutowicz is excited to be able to get back to a more traditional Lutheran faith and build a stronger voice within the Niles community.
St. Boniface was first formed by a 17-member group of worshiping families after breaking away from the body of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In July of 2004 the group began to officially meet as a parish, and currently the number of members has grown to 30. Charter members at the Tuesday night meeting predicted that this number will grow much more frequently with increased publicity in the coming year. The group is excited for the installation ceremony, and had wonderful things to say about Rutowicz.
Another charter member, Miriam Jackson, said, "He (Rutowicz) doesn't compromise his principles or values in his religious life as well as his personal life."
Rutowicz is supported by his wife, Jodi, and two daughters, 3-year-old Katie and 10-month-old Anna Sophia. The installation will be held at the community center of the Silverbrook Manufactured Home Park on E. Main St, where the church is temporarily holding services until they find a permanent building. A potluck will be held after the service in celebration of Rutowicz's official installation within St. Boniface.
Of his installation, Rutowicz said, "It's really the start of the ministry I've always wanted to be a part of. I'm really excited about being with these people. They are authentic people, authentic Christians. I'm proud to be their pastor, I feel it's a privilege."