Back in 1952 the state run organization that took care of handicapped people in Grafton North Dakota had a Missouri Synod Pastor come on the premises and do teaching, confirmation, and other pastoral acts. He continued this for a number of years and it was not until he took a call to another congregation and another pastor came on the scene, that the North Dakota District decided that the Ministry at that state institution needed to be supported by, and part of, the entire North Dakota Districts ministry. Over the years a full-time chaplain was called, as were teachers, and deaconesses. Different types of innovative ministries were tried, and contemplated. Many students from the University of North Dakota and Grand Forks volunteered to teach classes, not just a part of whatever major they were pursuing, but because of their love for Christ and desire to share his love with others. Volunteers came from the surrounding parishes in the northeast Circuit of the North Dakota District came on weeknights and lead Bible study and a music ministry.
Through many of those years, a solid veteran of the work was Evelyn Allensworth. She served as the religion teacher at the All Faiths Chapel for 38 years. On Reformation Sunday she was recognized by the staff, clients, former volunteers, and members of many congregations from around the north east circuit for her service and dedication.
There will be more about the recognition received over the next few blogs, because it is important to recognize those who have given their life to the vocation of service in what I would call a mercy endeavor.