SV church to fill service with sounds of polka again

By: 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Oompa for the Lord. 

“When I approached them about doing another polka service this year at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, there was no hesitation whatsoever because we enjoyed it so much last year,” shared Spring Valley accordionist Rosalie Hagan, inviting the community to join the Our Savior’s congregation for another round of “oompa-ing” and accordion fun during the polka service planned for this Sunday, Oct. 13.  

Apparently, the polka chops of St. Charles resident and bass guitarist Rita Schultz, Rochester accordionists Dorothy Lund Nelson and Janet Stevenson and Hagan garnered enough attention during the first-ever polka service at the Spring Valley church last fall that there was call for an encore. 

“We had great attendance.  People said they would like to do it again – we had positive responses to the first service in October last year – many people asked if we could do it again.  We plan to make it an annual event in October,” church member Darla Erickson recounted.  

Our Saviors’ member Nancy Stender stated that the polka service turned out be a multi-generational affair. 

“The response was very positive and uplifting. It was exciting to see how all the generations enjoyed themselves – even the younger generation was enjoying themselves – and we had visitors that attended, too.  It is a very upbeat and energetic service, she said. “I liked how well the congregation was able to sing the songs.  We had singers led by Elliott Grandall practice the songs to lead us, which was very helpful.  We were worried about how the singing would go.  Their voices were stronger than in a regular service.  This year, a group led by Elliott Grandall is preparing for this service, too.  And we are hoping that more people will dance this year, so bring your dancing shoes.”

Recently, the church has hosted a range of musical guests and carried out different missions through such presentations, including the Barbary Coast Dixieland Band, Tim Quarberg, Camp Week-End and Lessons and Carols.

“This service is totally different than a normal Sunday service.  The music is lively.  You can just come to listen to the group if you would like, and enjoy the music,” Erickson said. “The group plans to do a concert after the service.  We invite you to stay, listen to the polka music and dance…and we will have refreshments after the service, including coffee.” 

Hagan confirmed, “We are also playing after the service, which will include polkas and waltzes as well as a variety of other music.  We hope to see the church filled with people.  If you like music, you will love this service.”     

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church’s polka service Sunday is at 9 a.m. at the church, 805 S. Broadway Avenue, Spring Valley. It is free and open to the public. 

“We ask you to join us for this unique musical experience,” Erickson said. “It is a lot of fun!”