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Christmas at Spirit Lake

It has been a year of many blessings at Spirit Lake Ministry Center.  The ministry has celebrated the opening of Arthur Hall, a growing worshipping congregation, supporting Standing Rock, delivering Shoebox Christmas gifts and celebrating Christmas.

After an extensive seven-month remodel, a 53-year-old quonset has become the new worship center and dining facility for the Spirit Lake Ministries, located near Wood Lake on the Spirit Lake Nation of North Dakota.  Arthur Hall has become home to many worship and fellowship events. Spirit Lake Ministry Center held Easter worship and fellowship in the new building.

Each Sunday evening a meal and worship are held at Spirit Lake Ministry Center.  About 50-60 people gather to worship. They have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in their community and the surrounding area.

“I was preaching on missions during our weekly Sunday evening service,” said Rev. Mike Flowers, co-director at Spirit Lake Ministry Center. “In the middle of my sermon, a member raised her hand and asked, 'Can we do that?' I was a little surprised and asked what she meant. She said, 'Can we do a mission?' I asked her what it would look like if we did a mission and she said, 'Can we help our elderly?' So right then and there, we planned to bake cookies and deliver them to the elderly centers here on the reservation and in the town of Devils Lake.”

Spirit Lake Ministry also coordinates Shoebox Christmas. Over 5,000 Shoebox Christmas gifts were donated and distributed to six reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Shoebox Christmas is a program that provides Christmas gifts to children in need across the reservation communities and beyond.  In South Dakota the Crow Creek and Pine Ridge reservations and the Enemy Swim School near Sisseton received gifts. In North Dakota, the Spirit Lake Nation, the Turtle Mountain and the Standing Rock reservations received gifts along with three homeless shelters. In Minnesota, the Red Lake Reservation received gifts. Several churches in all three states also received gifts

Spirit Lake Ministry Center invites the entire Spirit Lake Nation to an annual Christmas party.  The party involved over 14 very large pizzas and over 50 people with gifts.  “We love to have people gather, visit and have fun,” said Libby Flowers, co-director at Spirit Lake. “We pass out gifts and share the love of Jesus.”

“The race cars were a big hit. The children and I had a great time playing at our third annual Christmas party.  A member of our congregation asked where the funding came from for the gifts and we explained about the churches and individuals who donated.  She said ‘God will bless those people for helping to give us a happy Christmas,’ ” said Mike Flowers.

There is still one more Christmas wish at Spirit Lake. It is  a 1993 Ford 25 passenger with 106,000 miles.  The list is price $10,000. If you would like to help us with the purchase of this bus, visit our website at spiritlakeministrycenter.org.

Photos courtesy of the Spirit Lake Facebook page.

Warmth of the Spirit from Dakotas UMC on Vimeo.

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