This morning saw no falling snow but a good crowd at Taylors Falls United Methodist Church. I’m always well received there and the service went well. One woman called the service “superb!” The church building is the oldest Methodist Church building in Minnesota that still is in use and is registered as an Historical Site amid the historical homes on “Angels’ Hill”.
Yesterday was spent cranking out 13 ads for the next quarter series for Church Page Ministries. The ads run in newspapers nation-wide and CPM has been a client of mine for more than 30 years now. The task in the ads: capture peoples’ attention in 45 words or less and motivate them to get to church that week. We use a combination of scripture, argument (so to speak) and then an invitation to show up at the church of their choice. I hope that when they do show up that they get fed.
You know that I have filled in frequently of late at Wolf Creek United Methodist Church. After service this morning with District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Kate C. Jones, the Wolf Creek congregation met to formally withdraw from the Upper St.Croix Parish (the other churches include Grantsburg Central, Atlas and St.Croix Falls United Methodist Churches). They had decisions to make, officers to elect and a budget to adopt. The next step there is for the Wisconsin Conference to appoint a quarter-time pastor. This is a major move for WCR, as they have been yoked with at least one other congregation since (perhaps) its beginning. (Back in 1911 they were yoked with Eureka and Cushing Methodist Churches. My predecessor pastored Wolf Creek, St.Croix Falls and Taylors Falls. I was fortunate to pastor just St.Croix Falls and Wolf Creek.) It is difficult to be the small or smallest church, difficult to pastor and difficult to be the small or smaller church. As it was, my predecessor did the 8:15 a.m. service at Wolf Creek, hightailed it to St.Croix Falls, often arriving late, and then hustled over to Taylors Falls. Taylors Falls, then, received the pastor’s time for conversation after the service and things evolved so that Taylors Falls became the favored congregation. When I came, Taylors Falls had been spun off to Minnesota’s Conference (where it belonged) and I had the St.Croix Falls service moved to 10 a.m. instead of 9:45 a.m. so I had a bit of time to visit at Wolf Creek and didn’t have to rush off. The early service time in Wolf Creek is a problem for some, especially for young people, but some people like the early service time. The ultimate attendance there is limited by the small space of the church building, which is a former two room school that the congregation has updated nicely. Sometimes snug can be good!