Anoka (MN) Covenant to Celebrate 125 Years of Ministry

Post a Comment » Written on May 20th, 2008     
Filed under: News
ANOKA, MN (May 20, 2008) – Even as Anoka Covenant Church prepares to celebrate its 125th anniversary, it is working with a local elementary school to help guide the community’s next generation.

The church is planning a celebration for June 8. The 10 a.m. worship service will feature memories from several of the church’s previous pastors: Ron Mancini, Alan Hearl, Ted Nordlund, and current pastor Nathan Powell. A picnic will follow.

The big party will be belated. The church began April 27, 1883, when a handful of Swedish lumber mill workers joined together to form the Society of Bethel Church that eventually became Anoka Covenant Church.

The congregation continues to find new ways to reach out to the community. “It’s a church that loves to see God move and is ready for wherever God leads them,” says Powell.

Last fall, after discussions with a local K-5 school and a social worker, the church started a homework club. One day each week, between 16 and 18 students – with no other connection to the church – are helped through the club.

The ministry was immediately welcomed. Fifteen students signed up within two weeks, Powell says. Several students from each grade participate.

The church picks up the students once a week at 3:30 p.m. and takes them home at 5 p.m. All of the students live within a half mile of the church, Powell says.

A paid part-time coordinator and several volunteers, including high school students, help with the ministry. The coordinator works with the students’ teachers to have appropriate worksheets for the kids who don’t bring homework to the church.

The church also plans to conduct “community” four times a year for parents of the children. The inaugural event was held in March. Seven families attended along with church members, and everyone had dinner and played games together.

Powell says the church hopes that the families eventually will consider joining the 125-year-old congregation.

Factoids from its history:
•    More than 32 pastors have served the congregation
•    The first meeting house was built in 1883 and consisted of an auditorium and sanctuary
•    During 1950-1952, the entire building was raised off its foundation and a full basement was installed
•    The congregation began using its current building in 1964, and several additions have been built since

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