Flood waters are receding. That is wonderful news. The sad news is that many weeks of rebuilding lie ahead.
The people of Minot have faith and that faith will help make the rebuilding process easier.
Pastors are going the extra mile and are working together to make worship accessible for their members.
The Rev. Fred Harvey, center, celebrates Mass June 25 in the Minot Knights of Columbus Clubrooms. He is the pastor of Little Flower Catholic Church in?Minot. Monsignor Joseph Senger concelebrated the Mass.Jake Magnuson, right is holding the lectionary for Harvey.
The Rev. Fred Harvey, pastor of Little Flower Catholic Church, 800 W. University Ave., recognized the need to celebrate Mass for the people of Minot on the north side of Minot and did so Sunday at the Knights of Columbus, 2601 N. Broadway. The facility was filled to capacity.
Harvey was scheduled for reassignment to a Mandan church, effective July 1. "I've talked with the bishop and my reassignment has been postponed indefinitely," Harvey said. The bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck is the Most Rev. Paul A. Zipfel.
Harvey said he explained to Zipfel that sending somebody new to the community at this time was not a good idea.
The 3 R's will get you through. They are rest, routine and relationships.
Rev. Debra Ball-Kilbourne, Minot pastor
Genesis 9: 14-15
"Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life."
"The people need a sense of stability and a changeover would be more appropriate once there is a sense of order," Harvey said.
He will celebrate Mass again on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the KC Clubrooms. It's an opportunity to thank the people of the community for their help with the process of building the dike, he said.
One of his concerns with the larger crowds, if the response is like last weekend, is a possible lack of necessities, including hosts, Harvey said. We have enough hosts for a couple of weekends and are waiting for shipment from Missouri.
It's not the kind of farewell Harvey was planning. "It's been a wild experience," he said. There was supposed to be a farewell open house for him June 23; it turned out to be a great block party with people he didn't even know.
"It's a day to remember," Harvey said. "We need to come together in faith and get the support of each other."
A sound of hope was apparent in his voice when he said, "The church is still dry. The sub basement has a bit of water but nothing major. It's more ground water than anything else."
Masses at St. John the Apostle Church, 2600 W. Central Ave., will be today at 5 p.m and Sunday at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Masses at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 707-16th Ave. SW, will be today at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and the schedule at St. Leo's Catholic Church, 218-1st St. SE, is today at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m.
Just across the road from Little Flower Church at 801 W. University Ave., the home of Faith United Methodist Church, is not so lucky. Muddy floodwater has filled the basement and entered the sanctuary.
The Rev. Debra Ball-Kilbourne is the minister at the church and her husband, the Rev. Gary Ball-Kilbourne, is the minister at Vincent United Methodist Church, 1024-2nd St. SE. Debra is also pastor of Des Lacs United Methodist Church.
The two Methodist congregations are meeting in the southeast Minot church. Separate services are being held for each congregation since the members are in different emotional stages.
"The Saturday service, which had been a Saturday evening worship service for years, has been transformed, at least during the emergency time now, into a community prayer service that both churches jointly host," Gary said. Vincent services will be held Sundays at 9:30 a.m., followed by a combined Vincent-Faith coffee and fellowship time. Faith United members will gather for services at 11 a.m.
"Vincent is a wonderful parish in which to work and they have wonderful strength here. They have been very open to us. Our people have worked together well in the past and they are working well together today," Debra said.
The Ball-Kilbournes have been married for 35 years and this is not the first disaster they have faced together. They have co-pastored at other times in our life and "there's no one that I trust more than Gary," Debra said.
She was the bishop's assistant for disaster response and has worked disasters and case management for many years so she brings that experience with her into this event.
"This isn't our first disaster and it probably won't be our last," she said.
It is also important to be aware of reactions during a disaster, Debra said. Disaster can affect people physically and emotionally. It can also affect your children. The Ball-Kilbournes agree that remembering the 3 R's will get you through. Those three R's are rest, routine and relationships.
Pastors of Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3705-11th St. SW, are "going to the people" on North Hill to alleviate travel on the bypass. "It's a way of serving people where they are," senior pastor of the church, the Rev. Paul Krueger, said.
Sunday services will be at 10:30 a.m. in the ballroom of the Vegas Motel.
Two staff members from Our Savior Lutheran Church, the Rev. Daniel Voth and Bonnie Rennich, are focusing on families of the North Hill area and two of the staff members are focusing on the south side.
"We will continue to serve the people of North Hill where they are as as long as the need exists," Krueger said.
All Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregations in Minot are working together. The evacuated churches were partnered with non-evacuated churches through the efforts of Western North Dakota Synod Bishop Mark Narum.
"It's a good partnership to work together. We are providing office spaces within our buildings and we are doing joint worship services," the Rev. John Streccius, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, 1800 Hiawatha St., said.
Zion Lutheran and First Lutheran are partnering in worship with services scheduled Sundays at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m., in Zion Lutheran Church. Worship services will also be held Sundays at 10 a.m. in the Grand International Inn. Pastors from both churches will share in the preaching.
Services will continue to be held in the Grand International Inn as long as necessary, Streccius said. "We are encouraging all people to work together during this time."
During this time Christ Lutheran will hold services at Bethany Lutheran, 215-3rd Ave. SE, Sunday at 9 a.m. and Augustana Lutheran is meeting with Bread of Life, 1415-17th Ave. SW, Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Peace Lutheran Church, Burlington, will worship with Saron Lutheran Church, south of Minot, Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
The Rev. Frank Picard and members of Congregational United Church of Christ have also been displaced from their home. No services or activities will take place in the Minot church until further notice and services in Hope Congregational Church in Granville, where Picard is also pastor, are postponed until the east bypass is open.
Congregational United Church of Christ will hold a joint ecumenical service with Vincent United and Faith United Methodist churches Sunday at 11 a.m. in Vincent United Methodist Church
Picard said weddings and funerals will be held in various churches which will be determined as the need arises.
"Our ecumenical partners have been very good," Picard said. "In the midst of all of this God is present."
"First Baptist Church has things under control," the Rev. Kent Hinkel, pastor of the church said. "We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the children from the evacuation center next door."
The church, located at 200-3rd St. SW, is next door to the Minot Municipal Auditorium which served as a shelter until Wednesday for some people who had to evacuate their homes.
"We are partnering up with other organizations and looking forward to organizing clean-up teams for the months ahead," Hinkel said. "We are poised for the opportunities that are coming our way to bring hope to the community."
Other churches in the evacuation zone have announced their places and times of worship. They are:
Berean Baptist Church will meet Sundays at 11 a.m. in the Carnegie Center, 105-2nd Ave. SE.
Bible Fellowship Church will meet at Immanuel Baptist Church, 1615-2nd St. SE, for worship Sundays at 4 p.m. and for youth movie night Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Harvest Reformed Church will meet Sundays at 10:30 a.m. in Room 301 of the Minot Municipal Auditorium, 420-3rd Ave. SW.
Spiritual Life Christian Fellowship will meet at Higher Grounds Christian Fellowship, 234-14th Ave. SE, Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Independent Baptist is meeting at the Sleep Inn at various times. People should call 721-1680 for worship times.
Displaced Minoters are making the best of a tragic situation. And, all in all, it all boils down to a statement made by Joyce Sand, a 50-year member of Little Flower Catholic Church.
"You just have to keep your faith. What else have you got?"