The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America brought greetings to Minot area churches affected by the flood on Aug. 27-28.
Bishop Mark Hanson and his wife, Ione, met Saturday with members of Peace Lutheran Church of Burlington and Bread of Life Lutheran Church in Minot. On Sunday, he spoke briefly at the worship service of Christ Lutheran Church of Minot at Bethany Lutheran, before going on to Bethany's service at the Scandinavian Heritage Park.
Later, they attended services at Zion Lutheran Church, which included members of First Lutheran Church. Zion Lutheran and First Lutheran have been holding services together since the mandatory flood evacution.
Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Church in America, visited Minot churches Saturday and Sunday. With him are his wife, Ione Hanson, center, and Sherri Heine, of Minot.
The bishop told Minoters they were remembered in prayer at a recent churchwide gathering in Orlando, Fla., and that the ELCA will continue to be present in the flood-stricken area.
"The attention of much of the country has moved on from Minot to the East Coast, recently hit hard by Hurricane Irene," Hanson said. "But, just as the ELCA is still helping in Japan after the tsunami, in Haiti and in Joplin, Mo., we will continue to be with you in Minot. You are not being forgotten. We give thanks to God for your witness in this time of crisis."
He said the disaster relief arm of the ELCA has given a $25,000 grant to the Western North Dakota synod to hire a person on staff for attention to the disaster.
In the afternoon, the bishop toured Christ Lutheran, which was badly damaged by the flood.
The Hansons, who live in Chicago, attended the Western North Dakota Synod gathering in Bismarck and visited in the Bowman area where her father had served as a pastor prior to coming to Minot.