ELCA members offer prayers for congregation of Hawk Creek near Sacred Heart, Minn.

7/25/2016 4:15:00 PM

     CHICAGO – Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are offering prayers for the congregation of Hawk Creek Lutheran Church near Sacred Heart, Minn., whose church suffered major damage in a fire July 23. The fire, which destroyed much of the sanctuary of the 136-year-old building, broke out after the church was struck by lightning.

     The Rev. Daniel L. Bowman, pastor of Hawk Creek, said that although members are devastated by the loss, they are reminded of Jesus' resurrection and healing. Bowman said the church is being brought to life again through "the response of the community – the prayers, support and encouragement."

     "It is not going to be the same, although we know God continues to be at work wherever we worship," said Bowman. He added that church events like the Lefse Ministry will go on as planned at the parish's other congregation, Rock Valle Lutheran Church in nearby Echo, which graciously welcomed the Hawk Creek members to worship with them on Sunday. At the service, the Rock Valle congregational president invited the Hawk Creek members to consider Rock Valle as their own church – until they can find a home in a new building. They have planned to worship together into the indefinite future. Bowman believes his congregation's relationship with Rock Valle will be strengthened as they work together to carry on Gods' mission - even after a new church building has been built.

     "The profound support received from churches and individuals around the world is a beautiful picture of God at work. It is a reminder that we are not alone in the work we do," said Bowman.


About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

**Nathan Gafkjen is an intern for the Strategic Communications team of the ELCA. He is a 2016 graduate of Valparaiso (Ind.) University, with a Bachelor of Arts in theology and ministry and a minor in communications.

For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder
773-380-2877 or Candice.HillBuchbinder@ELCA.org
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Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com


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