Churches make an impact on a community in many positive ways. A prime example is St. Peter’s United Church of Christ of Washington. It is observing its 175th anniversary.

The congregation of more than 650 has been marking the anniversary all year with many events, both religious, fellowship based, and continuing its mission of worship and service to the community and its people. The words at the church’s entrance state “Enter to Worship, Depart to Serve.” Those words say what we are, according to the Rev. Gary Schulte, pastor for the last two years.

No history of Washington would be complete without mentioning St. Peter’s UCC and its role in serving the community. Its members live its religious and community mission. It is a beehive of activities that builds support for Washington and its people.

Founded in 1844 as the German Protestant Church in Washington, the present church structure dates to 1868. Over the years it has expanded to handle growth and its strong sense of fellowship activities, topped off with an emphasis on music. Many talented musicians have been church members.

The Rev. Dr. Bill Schwab, pastor emeritus, who served as pastor from 1982 to 2006, said in a feature story in Wednesday’s Missourian, that St. Peter’s strikes a nice balance between preaching about personal salvation and serving society. Pastor Schulte said there is a responsibility to hear the message given at the worship services and then practice that message with action when you leave church. That sums up what St. Peter’s has been and is all about.

Congratulations, and thanks for all you do for God and community.