Presbytery of Northern Waters
First United Church: a small church making a difference
April 5, 2016
The Presbytery of Northern Waters over the years has had several small churches in basically “the middle of nowhere.” Sadly, several have had to close their doors due to aging congregations and/or finances. However, one of these small churches, First United Presbyterian Church of Willow River, Minnesota, has continued to be an energized congregation and a vital part of the community.
This was much in evidence when various organizations contributed to the New Roof Fund, praising the church for its visibility in the community.
Many members of the congregation participate in horse shows, so one Sunday in the fall the congregation goes to a riding stable for “Cowboy Church” led by cowboys themselves, followed by a delicious breakfast. Many stay for the day to watch the riders perform.
A favorite Sunday in the life of the church is when the Christian Motorcycle Association and other cyclists, as well as kids with bikes or four-wheelers, join for worship and the Blessing of the Bikes, always followed by a picnic.
Each month the session or women’s organization picks a specific mission project to focus on, whether it be the Humane Society, a homeless shelter, the Food Shelf, the local school or the church itself. The women have purchased a storage unit for people to bring items to in preparation for an annual rummage sale, and items in the storage unit are also available for families in need.
Several members of the congregation have participated in Presbyterian Disaster Relief missions to Oklahoma and New Orleans.
Yes, this little church on Highway 61 in Willow River, Minnesota, is alive and well.
Betty Starkey, the United Presbyterian Church of Willow River
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Lord, we lift up those little churches who are striving to bring your message to their communities. Be with their leaders and with their congregations. Amen.