Three Rural Churches Celebrate Anniversaries Together

HERNDON, KS (August 29, 2012) – Three Evangelical Covenant Church congregations in northwest Kansas celebrated anniversaries together over the weekend.

Marking historic milestones Saturday and Sunday were Herndon Covenant Church (125 years), Lund Covenant Church (120 years), and Oberlin Covenant Church (60 years). The events were held at the Gateway Civic Center in Oberlin.

Saturday evening featured a banquet and worship service that focused on the theme “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” Esther Carlson, 93, who grew up in the Lund congregation and is one of the last remaining charter members of the Oberlin church gave a testimony.

Pastor Keith Reuther of Herndon Covenant preached. Midwest Conference Superintendent Tammy Swanson-Draheim and Associate Superintendent Rick Mylander led communion.

Sunday morning worship featured a testimony by Britta Noren of Herndon Covenant and worship led by a combined team of musicians from the three congregations. President Gary Walter preached about being “Found Faithful.” The weekend wrapped up with a potluck lunch.

Chris Nelson, pastor of the Oberlin Church, noted that, “The three churches are only separated by a total of about 30 miles,” which reflected the rural setting of the congregations. Rarely would a member of an urban congregation say that other churches are “only” 30 miles apart.

The two oldest churches sit in the countryside where Swedish immigrant farming communities once existed. The Herndon and Lund churches provided the support and initial members of the Oberlin church, which was founded in the town in between them.

The three churches have made a habit each of the last few years of worshiping together several times a year, including a picnic on the last Sunday of August. They started making plans right after last year’s event in the Oberlin city park to hold a joint anniversary celebration.

In her greetings to the churches, Swanson-Draheim remarked how fitting the combined celebration was this year when the Midwest Conference theme is “Better Together.”

A member of one congregation said after the festivities that the weekend didn’t seem like three different churches had gathered, but one church with three locations.

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