A Story of Church and Community: Redeemer Lutheran Church
Redeemer Lutheran Church was chartered in 1988 with only 21 members. It began in a nursing home chapel with 21 members and has grown to fill the pews of its churches in Fort Collins and Greeley. The Greeley site launched in 2010 at Monfort Elementary and relocated to its present-day location at the Boomerang Business Park within six weeks.
Reverend Tim Rutsch became Redeemer’s first full-time pastor in 1990 and still serves and teaches today.
“God has given us a beautiful place to meet,” said Rev. Tim Rutsch. “Between our two locations, we have just a joyful community of people who love God and who love our community.”
Redeemer’s association with Points West began in a relationship with Mark Brase, the regional President of PWCB in Windsor, who is also a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church with his wife, Beth.
“Mark and his team at Windsor have done a wonderful job of serving our church and its family,” Rutsch said. “We’re entering into a much bigger relationship with Points West in the coming days.”
COVID-19 of course affected churches throughout the world – gathering was made impossible and then only possible for a limited number of worshippers. Rev. Rutsch reflected on challenges in their early years.
“Our biggest challenges were resources – people resources, financial resources, the ability to kind of get things rolling,” Rutsch said. “But, thanks be to God, we always had people invested in who we are, and what we’re about as a church. We’ve been able to overcome those hurdles.”
Redeemer has a church family that is incredibly committed to what they’re about as a church. Through all challenges, the congregation has joined them along the way to, again and again, beat the challenge and reach for people. COVID-19 was a new reality in every sector – every business, every family, every home. But for a church, the heart is gathering as God’s people, whether it’s in a large group gathering at church services or small group gatherings for Bible studies, prayer and fellowship.
When Redeemer couldn’t gather for a number of months, it was a challenge to keep their ministry together. While the online church was a helpful tool and something that will thankfully stick around forever now, it definitely isn’t the same as the gathering of people around common beliefs and a desire to encourage each other.
“We have only about 1/4th of the number of people that normally worship on a Sunday because of the limitations placed on us,” Rutsch said. “The other reality is that there are people who are uncomfortable gathering, and God bless them, we are still having an active online presence.”
Even though there are members of Redeemer’s congregation who have not been to the church building in eleven months, the community has still been generous and committed to being a part of the church family
Redeemer is a dynamic church that reaches a variety of ages and backgrounds. They’ve evolved over the years, like many churches, to include contemporary services that cater especially to young adults while still offering a traditional service.
“Our team has done a great job bringing together the younger people of our generation,” Rev. Rusch said. “We have a number of people in our congregation who are younger, and we have a lot of families with children, too. It’s a wide range in generations that attend on Sundays and that’s always a joy to see.”
Rev. Rutsch grew up in Austin, Minnesota, home of Hormel meatpacking. His dad worked for Hormel for his entire adult career, but Tim always had it in his heart that he’d become a pastor. He attended Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota then to seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He met his wife in Fort Collins and they now live in Windsor. They are parents to two kids, a daughter who is a freshman at Concordia University in Irvine, California, and a son who is a sophomore at Fossil Ridge High School.
“One of the things I appreciate about Points West Community Bank is how one of the words in the name is lived out,” Rev. Rutsch said. “Community. I’m also a client, personally, not just with the church, and that’s what I’ve really felt with Points West – the know-you-by-name, care-about-you-as-a-person type bank. The project that Points West is handling for our church is going to be really helpful for us.”
Points West is grateful to have Rev. Tim Rutsch as both a personal and business customer and look forward to working for his church for many years to come.