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Grilling up their service

Christ Lutheran Church delivers meals to families in drive-up event

Photo by Sam Thiel Volunteers at the Christ Lutheran Church help put together meals for families on Thursday. The church served 135 meals for 49 families in the drive-up event.

MARSHALL — Normally around this time of the year, people would be spending time outdoors and eating a nice home-cooked meal as they enjoy the beautiful weather. The current COVID-19 pandemic has halted the rhythm of those plans, causing some families to reconsider their food options.

That didn’t stop Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church from helping out their members and fellow neighbors. On Thursday evening, volunteers helped deliver 135 meals to 49 families, with meals consisting of either a hamburger or hot dog, pasta salad, chips, pickle and dessert.

The Rev. Keith Schreiner said he wasn’t surprised by the level of support they saw in the hour-long drive-up event.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all. They’re always willing to help out,” Schreiner said. “When we couldn’t actually do what we normally do, which is hold a meal in the basement for fellowship purposes, we thought, ‘Let’s do a drive-up’ and it doesn’t take long and people are stepping up and helping out.”

The impact of COVID-19 has been significant on everyone around the world. As states are working towards a return to normalcy, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently announced that salons, bars and restaurants can reopen on June 1, with the food industry being allowed to offer outdoor dining. However, churches and other places of worship remain closed at this time. Some Lutheran and Catholic churches in Minnesota announced Thursday that they are defying the current stay-at-home order that limits services to just 10 people.

Schreiner said while a lot of people want to be able to come back to worship services, they are fortunate enough to be able to still hold services online for those who are in need of it.

“I think there’s obviously a lot of people that want to get back to worship, the fellowship and receiving the sacrament. We have been very blessed to be able to have services online with YouTube, we have a member that got us all set up by the grace of God, about three weeks before this hit,” Schreiner said. “We went live on YouTube that way and they’re archived, so you can go to our website and check it out, so maybe there’s been some good that has come out of this too. I know that there are a lot of people who are checking out the website and the worship and have told their friends to check out our services, so maybe even in light of a very bad situation, maybe some good of it will come where more people can hear the Gospel.”

As for upcoming events, Schreiner said they don’t have anything currently in the works but are always willing to help when they are called upon.

“We normally have a worship in the park where we have a potluck and things during the summertime,” Schreiner said. “Nothing is formally scheduled, but then again, we’re pretty innovative and people jump to the task and are ready to go. If we have the opportunity, we will reach out to help.”

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