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The Spirit of Faith Lutheran-Methodist Church of Woonsocket celebrated its 50th anniversary of the ecumenical parish during worship service on Aug. 2. The commemoration was held at the church’s parking lot where the members sat in cars or lawn chairs and listened by loudspeaker or FM radio. Fiftieth Anniversary booklets were created for the occasion and distributed. Attendees enjoyed cupcakes and coffee during outdoor fellowship time after the service.

Newly appointed Spirit of Faith minister, Dr. John Anderson, led the service with guest speakers representing the former congregations. Speaking were Connie Farris for Doug Farris, former United Methodist board president; Mark Snedeker, former Bethany Lutheran council vice-president; Wanda Swenson, former Forestburg Lutheran council president; and Jennifer Feistner for Brian Feistner, current Spirit of Faith council president. Pre-recorded video greetings were received from Rev. Jonathan Steiner of the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Rev. Rebecca Trefz of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church.

This congregation has the distinction of being part of the first ecumenical agreement between Methodist (UMC) and Lutheran (ELCA) congregations in the state of South Dakota when the parish was formed on Aug. 1, 1970. On Reformation Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, members voted to form one congregation and build a new church. The two Woonsocket churches were demolished, Bethany Lutheran on Aug. 29, 2016, and United Methodist on April 27, 2018, to make room for the new church building on the same block along Highway 34.

Groundbreaking for the new church was on May 20, 2018, with the first worship service in the building held on Dec. 23, 2018. Spirit of Faith continues to be a unique congregation and is proving that two faiths can come together. Their mission statement, “saved by grace, gathered in faith, called to serve,” is how they strive to worship and live their faith. Booklets are still available for anyone who wants one and is interested in learning about or becoming part of Spirit of Faith.

…See a photo of the ceremony in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

Did you know that only five percent of the population donates blood to meet 100 percent of the patient blood needs? Misconceptions are a big reason why more people don’t donate blood, but new donors are always in high demand.

“It’s surprising to hear the reasons why many people think they can’t donate, and most often it’s due to outdated or misunderstood information,” said Donor Recruitment Manager, Travis Dressler. “We encourage anyone who thinks they can’t donate blood to give us a call and find out more. With every donation, we can save up to three lives. Think of the impact we can have if more people were willing and able to give!”

While much more goes into qualifying a donor to safely give blood, there are many common instances when people assume they can’t give blood but generally are not disqualifying. Some of these include taking medication including blood pressure, cholesterol, or anti-depressants, traveling outside the U.S., getting a tattoo or piercing, or having a history of cancer.

Potential donors are encouraged to call Vitalant to find out if they are eligible to donate blood. The next opportunity to give will be Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the Woonsocket Community Center from 12:30-5:30 p.m. Contact Carrie Howard at 770-8997 to make an appointment or call Vitalant at 877-25-VITAL for more information.

To save time, donors can now complete their Fast Track Health History Questionnaire online the day of their donation by visiting www.vitalant.org/health or via the Vitalant mobile app. To donate blood, volunteers must be at least 16 years old (16 and 17-year-old donors need a minor donor permit which is available at the blood drive or online) and be in good health.

The boys playing for Wessington Springs VFW 16U Teener team at this year’s State Tournament are pictured with their Consolation Championship trophy and medals. Pictured are back row, left to right: Coach Cory Mohling, Cooper Hainy, Clay Olinger, Quinten Christensen, Camden Jost, Mason Schelske, Landon Cleveland, Draven Thompson, Brady Larson, Coach Perry Jost and a State Tournament VFW Representative; front row: Austin Schimke, Cale Mohling, Cade Mohling, Dylan Schimke, Carson Hainy, Coen Harvey, Blake Larson, Brock Krueger, Tyler Fastnacht and Tyler Kole.

On Friday, July 31, the Wessington Springs VFW Teener 16U team traveled to Canova to take part in the State Tournament. They suffered a tough, ten-inning loss against Canova for their first round of play, but then they came back strong and won their next two games over the weekend to earn the Consolation Championship.

During their game against Canova on Friday night, Wessington Springs stayed in it until the end, but Canova pulled away late in an 8-5 victory. The game was tied at three with Canova batting in the top of the tenth inning (remember this age group normally plays seven innings), and Canova drew a walk, scoring one run and starting a scoring streak of five runs.

Wessington Springs lost despite out hitting the Canova team eight to seven. Canova got things started in the third inning when an error scored a run for their team. Wessington Springs evened things up at three in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Quinten Christensen hit a solo home run, which was the only home run hit among all the teams for the entire tournament.

For their second round of play on Saturday, Aug. 1, Wessington Springs found themselves up against the boys from Elkton. Wessington Springs trailed 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning when they scored two runs on a stolen base and sealed the win with a final score of 4-3.

For their final game of the tournament, they played in the Consolation Championship game on Sunday afternoon against the 16U team from Garretson. Despite a valiant effort to come back from a 7-0 deficit, Garretson just couldn’t catch up to Wessington Springs, thus Springs won the game and fifth place with a final score of 7-5.

…Read more details in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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