ELCA members are offering prayers for the congregation of Hawk Creek Lutheran near Sacred Heart, Minn., whose church suffered major damage in a fire July 23. The fire, which destroyed much of the sanctuary of the 136-year-old building, broke out after the church was struck by lightning.

Daniel L. Bowman, pastor of Hawk Creek, said that although members are devastated by the loss, they are reminded of Jesus’ resurrection and healing. He said the church is being brought to life again through “the response of the community—the prayers, support and encouragement.”

“It is not going to be the same, although we know God continues to be at work wherever we worship,” Bowman said. He added that church events like the Lefse Ministry will go on as planned at the parish’s other congregation, Rock Valle Lutheran in nearby Echo, Minn., which welcomed Hawk Creek members to worship with them on Sunday.

At the service, the Rock Valle congregation president invited Hawk Creek members to consider Rock Valle as their own church—until they can find a home in a new building. They have planned to worship together into the indefinite future.

Bowman believes his congregation’s relationship with Rock Valle will be strengthened as they work together to carry on Gods’ mission—even after a new church building has been built.

“The profound support received from churches and individuals around the world is a beautiful picture of God at work. It is a reminder that we are not alone in the work we do,” Bowman said.

Nate Gafkjen
Gakjen is an intern with ELCA strategic communications. A graduate of Valparaiso (Ind.) University, he will pursue a master's degree in communications online at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., this fall.

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