And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
The Lutheran-Methodist Parish of Woonsocket was started over 50 years ago, when the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church in Woonsocket, South Dakota, decided to come together to share a pastor. In 2016, the congregations realized it was not financially wise to maintain two aging church buildings that were neither handicap accessible or energy efficient and decided to merge into one congregation – the Woonsocket Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church. In addition to merging congregations, the church decided to build a new building where they could all gather together and would meet their growing needs.
The first service in the new church building was held in December 2019. The new building has gotten lots of attention in the Woonsocket community, both for its technology and handicap accessibility. Since January 2020, Spirit of Faith Church has grown by 115 new members and the in-person attendance on any given Sunday averages 90-100 people versus the 35 per week in the old churches. The Spirit of Faith congregation is very involved in both their community and beyond. Besides offering their church building for community use, they host VBS, serve community meals, participate in the Snack Pack Program, provide backpacks and school supplies for local students, host a trick-or-treat community event, meet regularly for Bible studies, hold quarterly gatherings for young adults and couples, pack and send health and school kits, and more.
The congregation has stepped up to support the building of the new church, as well as support a technology overhaul to further expand their reach. The final step in their new building process is the completion of the outdoor space to create an inviting environment where all can feel welcome and included. The three-step improvement will include: installing a partial wall on the west end of the parking lot to clarify the property line and create more parking spaces, adding lighting to illuminate the large metal cross on the outside of the church building, and installing a new digital sign to share announcements, events, times, inspirational messages, and more to increase community engagement. “The more connection we can make with our community the more apt they are to join us for a service or an event, giving us the opportunity to share our fellowship and faith,” comments Pastor John Anderson.
Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church is a unique congregation that proves that two faiths can come together. Their mission statement “saved by grace, gathered in faith, called to serve” emphasizes how they strive to worship and live out their faith.
We are grateful for your continued support of the Builders Club and ask that you prayerfully consider a gift of $25 or more to support Woonsocket Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church. The gifts for this call will be received until September 30, 2023. Send your gift to Builders Club, PO Box 460, Mitchell, SD 57301 or donate online.
Flame of Faith United Methodist Church is deeply grateful for our Builders Club partners around the conference. Our ministry in West Fargo continues in the midst of a growing community and we have been hindered by our parking lot with unsafe mud, and unhelpful angles in snow. We are grateful for the incredible response of the Builders Club and will use the money to update our lot and strengthen our ministry here in this place.
As we heard at Annual Conference this year about the incredible work of the inherited church and the work beyond our doors, we seek to blend our ministry and continue to be the neighbor Christ calls us to be.
Thank you for your generosity and continued support of ministries across the Dakotas.
May God guide us all in ministry and love for the world,
Pastor Sara McManus
Flame of Faith UMC, West Fargo, ND