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United Methodists in Canton aid flood recovery efforts

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

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Rural Canton, South Dakota, where many farms are flooded out. Photos from KELO news.

June 20-22, the Canton, South Dakota community received around 18 inches of rain in three days.

When the water came, Rev. Clay Lundberg and other Canton United Methodist Church members headed out to the cement plant to fill sandbags. His wife, Linse, went to the church and opened the doors to offer hospitality to members

of the community.

“We just opened the building to offer hospitality and respite to anyone that wanted to hang out. Linse headed downstairs at the church and found a couple of inches of water,” said Pastor Clay. “A crew of about 10 of us cleaned things up and made sure we were ahead of any flooding or damage. The water in the bas.”

Canton UMC hosted Big Poppa’s Food Truck in the church parking lot. Flood victims and community members enjoy good food and fellowship. 

“This food truck had been in Rock Valley, Iowa, and served 1,000 people. They wanted to reach out to other communities, so they contacted the fire chief and his wife, who are members of the church, and offered our parking lot because it is right along the main part of town. The weather didn’t look like it would cooperate, so we moved things inside and served about 700 people,” says Pastor Clay. 

The meal was a free-will donation that raised over $3,000 for the Canton Volunteer Fire Department.

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The rubble pile at Canton High School.

“It has been individuals stepping up and helping out as much as humanly possible,” shared Pastor Clay.

People in the congregation have helped clean rubble out of flooded basements. A big pile has accumulated at the high school. The debris will be removed in the next few weeks.

“There are a lot of flooded homes. They established a rubble pile up at the high school, and it is an absolute site to behold,” explained Pastor Clay. “A couple of my parishioners that lived in basement apartments have lost everything.”

Farmers in the region are dealing with the loss of crops. “Our lay leader put a boat in the water and skied on one of his fields,” said Pastor Clay. “One of his fields is under 15 feet of water. They are completely flooded out.”

In a week, Canton UMC will host Vacation Bible School with two other churches in the community. It is an evening program that starts with a meal at 5:30 and ends with VBS activities.

“We are ready for it. Things have really come together,” said Pastore Clay.

This month, the church parking lot will be the site of the rib fest, a fundraiser for the Canton Ministerial Association. The rib fest will happen on the same day as the community car show. 

Pastor Clay is grateful for the servant hearts of the members at Canton UMC. “I serve in such a cool community. I mean, everyone has basically just stepped up.”


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 logo _Slider.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