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Four Winds Public Schools recipient of $25,000 from 2022 Miracle Offering

By: Rev. Marty Toepke-Floyd, Missional Impact Link co-chair, Dakotas UMC

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(L-R)Guidance Counselor Rebecca Ward, Middle School Principal Byron Engberg, Rev. Marty Toepke-Floyd, Elementary Principal Diane Sommer, Superintendent Jeff Olson, Pastor Mike Flowers (and Libby Flowers - not pictured), Co-Directors of Spirit Lake Ministry. Photo by Libby Flowers.

On September 29, Pastor Mike and Libby Flowers, Co-Directors of Spirit Lake Ministry Center, and Pastor Marty Toepke-Floyd, co-chair of the Dakotas Conference Extending Missional Impact Link, presented a check for $25,000 to Diane Sommer and other administrators of the Four Winds Public Schools on the Spirit Lake Nation in North Dakota.

The check is one-half of the 2022 Miracle Offering received at the Dakotas Annual Conference. The conference theme was “Jesus: Healer” — we are a people and a world needing healing beyond our doing.   

The 2022 Miracle Offering: Wings for Wellness will have a lasting impact on the Native American youth served by Spirit Lake Ministry of the Dakotas Conference. The money will go towards supplemental mental health training, counseling, and programming for Fort Totten Public Schools staff and students.

Miracle Offering 2022 logo

According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the schools are located in Benson County, where 44% of the youth report feeling helpless, depressed, or having thoughts of harming themselves or others.   

Diane Sommer, elementary principal at Four Winds Schools, reports that too many of the 750 students in K-12 grades have been exposed to suicide in various ways in their community. Elementary students hear about adults completing suicide. In middle school and high school, students have ideation about it.

Ms. Sommer said the funds would mean more training for students and staff to learn coping strategies for life’s problems. In addition, the schools can pay for guest speakers to inform and inspire students and teachers, helping to find positive ways to address mental health issues. It will mean that lives can be improved and saved. 

Sommer said, “Thank you, Dakotas Conference, for your generous support!”


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 Love Lenten Study Slider_3.jpg 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000