Lutheran Lighthouse set to shine

Mirror staff

Community Christian Center, a Federal Way church looking for more members, will open its first Lighthouse mission next month as a step toward more such missions in the South Sound area.

The hoped-for new congregation will meet at Federal Way Public Academy, a school in the Federal Way Public Schools system, on Ninth Avenue South near St. Francis Hospital. A grand opening worship and reception is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Nov. 2.

The mission developer is pastor Peter Lai, who established Community Christian in January 2001. About 60 worshippers attend weekly services at the Lutheran church.

The latter’s location on a lightly traveled portion of First Avenue gets little notice, said Lai, who hopes the Lighthouse concept will raise the church’s profile and help it grow.

Music and a children’s ministry are important parts of the Lighthouse mission. “Our hope and prayer is that we will bring the most excellent music,” Lai said, adding that children will join adults in singing opening praises before heading off to Sunday school classes.

Pastor James Jaeger is the Lighthouse administrator. Mauro Toriggiotti and Gary Peterson are directors of the music and children’s programs, respectively.

The plan is to some day open Lighthouses in Northeast Tacoma and possibly Olympia for Chinese and Korean worshippers, Lai said.

Lai was born in Taiwan. He and his wife, Janie, who studied music together, immigrated to Minneapolis, Minn. in 1974. He was admitted there to Luther Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1985 as a pastor.

Since then, he’s been an associate or senior pastor at churches in California, a professor at Trinity Lutheran College and regional coordinator of evangelism and multicultural missions for Evangelical Lutheran Church of America before arriving in Federal Way.

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