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Ascension congregation settles into new church home

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
The Rev. Dan Chrismer, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, stands ready to welcome members and guests to services at the congregation’s new place of worship, formerly Our Saviour Lutheran Church, at East Second Street and South Thompson which was recently donation to Ascension Lutheran by St. Paul’s  Luthern Church in Natrona.

Pratt’s Ascension Lutheran Church congregation is now worshiping in its own sanctuary at the northeast corner of East Second Street and South Thompson, thanks to the donation of the property by St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, providing the congregation with its first traditional worship space.

“I think this building is a great asset to our ministry,” Ascension Lutheran Pastor the Rev. Dan Chrismer said of the original Our Savior Lutheran Church, which had become the property of the Natrona Lutheran Church in the early 2000s and which housed a day-care program for several years before changing hands.

The property at 502 E. Second Street in Pratt was gifted to Ascension Lutheran Church by the Natrona congregation.

“We are grateful for the gift which gives our growing congregation a permanent home,” said Rev. Chrismer. “We’re certainly appreciate the generosity of this gift.”

Since its founding five years ago, Ascension Lutheran’s congregation has been meeting in temporary quarters—first at All Saints Episcopal Church on North Main, occasionally evening services at the Pratt County Fairgrounds and, as of December 2017, at The Barron Theatre.

Rev. Chrismer, who has filled the Ascension Congregation’s pulpit for three years since his ordination and installation on July 2, 2017, said the congregation began worship services and other programs in their new quarters the week of September 6.

In addition to Sunday School and worship service, the pastor said  focus is also placed on youth activities, including a Wednesday evening program for kindergarten through sixth grade.

“We’re learning from the Bible that Jesus taught us to be good neighbors to our community,” Rev. Chrismer said.

The pastor said church board members are considering renovations to the 80-year-old structure, including expanding the sanctuary and changing the entrance to make it more handicap-accessible.

An interesting point of the building’s former use, which Rev. Chrismer said he hasn’t officially verified, is that the basement of the structure was originally Pratt’s city swimming pool.

In addition to serving as Ascension Lutheran pastor, Rev. Chrismer serves as chaplain for Pratt County Law Enforcement personnel and also to inmates, if requested.

Ascension Lutheran Church is Rev. Chrismer’s first pastorate.

“From a very young age, I felt a calling to the ministry of some sort,” said Rev. Chrismer who holds degrees from Concordia University in Seward, NE and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.

Rev. Chrismer and wife Emma, who teaches kindergarten at Southwest Elementary, have two pre-school-aged daughters.

Sunday worship service at Ascension Lutheran Church’s new quarters are 9 a.m. Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship service.