Area churches have devised innovative ways to host services during Holy Week this year – from video and audio drive-in movie style services to private in-church services. Hallelujah! Easter cannot be canceled!
From Living Word Church – Pastor Kent Groethe
Living Word Church offered communion and a palm branch to its parishioners on Palm Sunday. The drive-thru service in the church parking lot served 100 cars.
Easter – 8 a.m. worship service. The congregation is invited to meet in their vehicles in the church parking lot. The group will listen to the taped Easter service on the radio, and communion will be served to each car. (Masks and gloves will be used.)
St. John’s Lutheran Church in Revillo/Bethlehem Lutheran Church in rural Milbank- From Pastor Nathan Neugebauer
Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors, and where are the people? Spring is here, and so is Easter Sunday. A little more than every Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday always serve to remind us where we all know Christians are to be found, gathered together around their Lord in Word and in His Holy Supper. May this year’s sad but necessary limitations on our gatherings, in the fear of God and under the threat of sickness, remind us as a society all the more that our gathering as Christians, essential as it is, may not be taken for granted. And more than that, let us remember the reason we gather around Christ in the first place: not for nostalgia, for fun, or even for community, but because of our certain need above all things for Christ, who is the Son of God and our suffering Savior. A community that knows where true life is to be found is a community that may begin to share true and eternal life together (John chapters 1, 19, 20).
Maundy Thursday – 7 p.m. at Bethlehem (At 15048 484th Avenue in Milbank, next to the quarry.)
Good Friday – 7 p.m. at St. John’s (At 100 S. Dillman Avenue in Revillo.)
Easter Sunrise – 7 a.m. at St. John’s
Easter Morning – 9:30 a.m. at Bethlehem
Group size is limited. Contact Pastor Nathan Neugebauer if you’d like to join us for a service. Study – 605.623.4280.
From Calvary Church Milbank – Interim Pastor John W. Hostettler
My dad is 102 years old and recently he said, “I have never seen anything like this!” We all feel the same way. People are staying home from the most important things in their lives —work, school, resturants, and sports. Even churches are feeling it. People who are accustomed to meeting weekly in close proximity, with handshakes and hugs are now told to keep their distance. It is even more complicated because as Christ followers, this is the most important spiritual time of the year.
Fortunately, most of our church leaders have come up with some creative ways to make sure people stay connected and focused on Christ’s love for His church.
Some are having church services in their parking lots. Others are posting weekly videos of preaching/teaching/praise on Facebook and YouTube. Others have initiated groups to gather in hospital parking lots to pray and let those in the medical profession know we are there for them. I have friends who get in their cars and drive through the streets of their city praying as the Holy Spirit leads them. These are only a few ways of giving believers the sense of purpose we need during this downtime. I encourage you to be a part of whatever your denominational leaders are planning to keep you focused on mission.
I would like to add a few more ideas for you. You don’t need a crowd to read the Scriptures, pray or to worship together as a family. And with today’s technology, it is easy to stay in contact with people. Unfortunately, the technology we use can be very impersonal… leaning more to inviting others to find you, your church or your pastor instead of reaching out to them. So, I’m suggesting something a little more personal than a text or a Facebook post.
Why not actually call someone you normally go to church with and ask them how they are doing? Or…How about talking to someone you see when you go to church, but don’t usually talk to? At the end of your chat, how about praying with them… don’t ask them if they need prayer… simply pray God’s peace to fill their heart and mind.
Dear ones…this does not have to be a Downtime! You don’t have to wait for organized activities. It can actually be a time to look up, give thanks for what the Lord has done by dying on the cross for you, setting you free from the power of sin and death, and giving you peace and joy! Now… share that peace and joy with others.
From Peace Lutheran – Pastor Albert Meier
We are livestreaming our worship at 7 p.m. on Maundy Thursday and on Good Friday. The same for our Easter service at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
It is important to be nourished by God’s Word as he forgives our sins and points us to the victory won by Jesus’ death and resurrection. We are blessed to be able to serve our members with this Word through technology and mailed and emailed resources. But, we also benefit from face-to-face meetings as we gather and encourage one another and share our joys and burdens. Sadly, this is impossible for the present. To help, I have been reaching out to members by phone, and this week I’ve set aside times for individuals and families to stop by for private worship and to receive the Lord’s Supper. We can be confident in the face of any difficulty. Jesus has won the victory and we rest in his loving care.
From American Lutheran Church – Pastor Justin Neugebauer
We are doing a Holy Week At Home Celebration. All of our services will be broadcast live on the American Lutheran Church Facebook Page as well as live on KMSD Radio (1510am and 98.3fm).
Maundy Thursday – 6:30 p.m.
Good Friday – 6:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday – 9 a.m.
We are focusing on remembering we are still the church out in the world, even when we cannot physically be together. That church is not a building, but church is the people – the Body of Christ. So ministry happens, by all of us, in our families, with our neighbors, and through a variety of communication (text, email, phone calls, etc.) Since even death could not hold back our God, we have the assurance that God cannot be held back by COVID-19 and He will continue to break into our world and into our lives with His great love that He has for all of us.
From Emanuel Lutheran Church – Lisa Miller, Office Manager
We have the following services available:
April 9 – Holy Thursday. We will be on Facebook Livestream at 8 a.m.. Throughout the day, we are doing in-person services of nine people or less each half hour. You must schedule a time with our office at 605.432.9555. There will be Holy Communion for those in an LCMS congregation.
April 10 – Good Friday – We will be on Facebook Livestream at 8 a.m.
April 12 – Easter – We will be on Facebook Livestream at 6:46 a.m. This service will also be on the radio at 10 a.m. Easter morning. It will also show on ITC and Midcontinent Cable networks. Throughout the day, we are doing in-person services of nine people or less each half hour. You must schedule a time with our office at 605.432.9555. There will be Holy Communion for those in an LCMS congregation.
From St. Lawrence Catholic Church – Darby Helms Director of Faith Formation & Youth Ministry
Per the directions of Bishop Donald DeGrood, we are not allowed to have a public Mass. This means no congregation. That being said, St. Lawrence is using Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/stlawrencemilbank) for our parishioners to watch our celebrations.
Holy Thursday – 7 p.m.
Good Friday – 3 p.m.
Easter Sunday – 9:30 a.m.
If you do not have Facebook or would like to watch celebrations live from the Cathedral of St. Joseph with Bishop DeGrood, they will also be live.
Holy Thursday – 7 p.m.
Good Friday – 3 p.m.
Holy Saturday – 8 p.m.
St. Lawrence Church is open for private prayer, holy water is available, and the votive candles can be found in Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel.
From Central United Methodist – Pastor Thom Bowsher
Technology is great and has really been a life-saver in keeping us somewhat connected to the church and to keep our faith life strong, but nothing replaces the sense of community and being in the physical presence of one another, even if it is at a distance from our cars. Those relationships and feeling connected to one another are being missed so badly by most people. So we just wanted to bring some sort of normalcy to the Easter celebration and not forget what this season is all about – Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
Central United Methodist will have a pre-recorded service for Thursday and Friday which will be published on the Central Church Facebook page, Central UM Church YouTube channel, and our church website at www.milbankcentral.com.
Easter Sunday – A 10 a.m. drive-in movie style worship service in the parking lot of the high school for anyone. People will listen on their radio while sitting in their cars and listen to the service by Pastor Thom who will be outside near the entrance of the school. As people arrive, they will be given information which will include a bulletin, instructions on how to listen, a communion packet, and a fun pack for the kids. This will also be recorded and published later on the three media sources
listed above. It will also be shown on the TV stations at its regularly scheduled times.
From Valley Baptist – Pastor Brian McFaden
The grave could not quarantine Jesus– celebrate Easter with Valley Baptist online with Facebook Live at 10:00 am.
From Parkview United Methodist Church/ Tabor United Methodist Church – Pastor Barb McKewin
We will be Celebrating Easter. HE IS RISEN!
Maundy Thursday Service – On our website Thursday, April 9.
Easter Sunday Service – On our website on Easter Sunday, April 12.
Milbank Christian Fellowship- Elder-Emanuel Lapp
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said it well when he said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he (or she) stands in moments of challenge and controversy.“
Fitting words for these challenging times, are they not? One of the hard things we face these days is the unknown. We can’t see this coronavirus. We don’t know where it will show up next. We don’t know for sure when, where, and if there is danger close by. Or (horrors) whether we might be putting others in danger. We may even speculate on how this thing started, and why, but we don’t know. Until time reveals it, or eternity.
So what shall we do? Some churches are temporarily closed while a few are not. In our church some attend on Sunday morning and some of us don’t. There are so many unknowns that none of us know for sure whether we are doing the right thing.
This much we do know, we are facing a legitimate health crisis and there are those on the front lines of battle who know more about this crisis than the rest of us. While we have the opportunity, let us stand together as Americans for a common cause, as long as it is Biblical. When this is all over we will likely all look back and see what we should’ve done, could’ve done, and should not have done. Hopefully we’ll also have done some things right. What do you think? May the peace and joy of our Risen Savior minister to each heart and mind this easter season and always. Emanuel, for the Lapps
Pictured: Pastor Kent Groethe/Living Word Church, Kay Groethe and Deb Butkke