Who We Are
Creator Lutheran Church has been a presence in the Clackamas community since the fall of 1987. It is an open and welcoming community of believers working to fulfill Christ's calling for ministry and justice in a broken world.
When we leave our sanctuary we have a reminder above us, as shown in the photo on the right, to do what we know is important to all "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all Creation". Mark 16:15
The people of Creator worship, study, play and work together in a spirit of celebration of God's gifts to us, working to bring about God's work with our hands.
In June of 1978 a request was made to the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Church Development to consider a new ministry development in the Sunnyside-Clackamas area of Southeast Portland. The request was finally approved in September of 1986 during planning sessions at Milwaukie Lutheran Church. In December of that year the property on the corner of SE Sunnyside and 132nd was purchased for the new community to begin its ministry.
See Creator's Month By Month 1987 History as we tell it this year.
In June of 1987, the Rev. David Hungerford was called to serve as the pastor/developer. By November, Pastor David had visited over 2500 houses, inviting people to consider becoming part of this new congregation. With joy, the first worship service was held December 6th of 1987 in the gym of Sunnyside Elementary School; 156 people proudly attended.
The church kept going, beginning Sunday School classes in February of 1988. In May of 1988, on Pentecost Sunday, the charter for Creator Lutheran Church was signed by 104 individuals who together made the following statement:
We, Creator Lutheran Church, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, as part of God's people on earth, through God's love for us, with love for each other, proclaim this to be our mission: to gather for Word and Sacraments, with Holy Communion available each week to all baptized Christians; to teach the Word of God to persons of all ages, so that we might learn and grow spiritually; to extend physical and spiritual help to all who are in need; to work in partnership with all other religious and secular organizations within our community; to provide fellowship and loving support for each other; encouraging tolerance, inclusiveness and unity, with Christ as the Head.
On December 4, 1988, the ELCA officially recognized Creator as a congregation.
In September of 1990 Creator Lutheran Church called the Rev. Chris Nolte as pastor to the congregation. Worship continued in the Sunnyside Elementary gymnasium.
Construction of the current building began in July of 1993. The sign on the property read, "If we build it, will you come?" On June 5th of 1994, people did indeed come, and the building was dedicated to God's glory.
In January of 1999, the Rev. Dayle Askey was called as pastor to the congregation following the interim ministry of Rev. Susan Granata. Pastor Dayle served until January, 2016.
In January of 2009, Creator celebrated its "All are Welcome" philosophy by ratifying an explicit declaration of welcome and becoming a Reconciling In Christ congregation, openly and actively welcoming people of all gender identities. Find out the details of our story on our Reconciling In Christ page.
In September 2017 Creator called the Rev. Ray McKechnie as pastor following the retirement of Pastor Dayle and the interim ministry of Rev. Michelle Manicke.
With the sudden death of Pastor Ray McKechnie in March of 2020 Creator was grateful for the interim ministry of Rev. Janell Monk, a group of exceptional supply pastors and our Bridge Pastor Steve Carlson until July, 2023. Now Creator is in ministry together with our newly called Pastor Emillie Binja, and we are all looking forward to the new opportunities. To learn more about Pastor Emillie follow this link.
The church continues to thrive, serving all ages and rejoicing in the blessings of our God.