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God is Rockin’ in the Bakken through the Kenmare-Donnybrook vital merger

What do a ribfest, back-to -school picnic, and mission walk have in common?  They are all part of the launch of a new church in Kenmare, North Dakota.  Kenmare and Donnybrook United Methodist churches are launching a whole new start. 

Donnybrook United Methodist Church and Kenmare United Methodist Church are merging together to create a new church.  The vital merger was a focus of the 2014 Dakotas Annual Conference miracle offering.  The work to create something new is underway. 

Pastor Joddy Meidinger and members of the church have been reaching out to community members.  “I never would have thought that people would come chose a church because of community outreach and mission, but they do.  It is not always about the worship,” said Meidinger.

Creating visibility

The church is holding worship on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. at Memorial Hall in Kenmare.  A planning group meets each Wednesday night at various locations throughout the community; a local restaurant, ice cream place and a pub are some of the venues where meetings are held. 

“Right now we are focused on connecting with the community and meeting people where they are,” Meidinger explained.  “ We recently participated in a community ribfest.  Held a back-to-school picnic and completed a mission walk.”

The team did not win first place for the best-cooked ribs however, they did get first place for the theme.  Meidinger explains, “Our theme was ‘Adam’s Ribs—So heavenly, they’re almost sinful!’  To show all of the effort the team put into cooking the team wore ‘bloodied’ medical patches taped to their sides.”

A back-to-school picnic was held in a local park.  Over 150 people attended and enjoyed the grill-out picnic, replete with roaming magician and magic show.  “We were overwhelmed with the great level of participation, “ stated Miedinger.  “We hope to make this an annual event.  We are still getting positive comments from parents.”

On Sunday, August 24 instead of worship the church held a mission walk.  Church members walked around the community on Sunday afternoon picking up trash and talking to people.  The walk ended with a short worship service and a potluck. 

What’s next?

Another mission walk will be held in Donnybrook, North Dakota.  Members will walk the town, visit, pick up trash.  The day will end with another potluck and a short worship service.

Donnybrook United Methodist Church will hold a final service in the church building on September 10, 2014 at 8 p.m.  All are welcome to this final service.  Former pastors of Donnybrook UMC will be on hand to speak.   Everyone will be invited to share stories and members of the church. 

Keep up with the happenings at the new church in Kenmare through the church’s Facebook page.

To learn more about the vital merger watch a video about the Kenmare and Donnybrook below.

Kenmare and Donnybrook: Creating Vitality from Dakotas UMC on Vimeo.


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