Living Water Lutheran Church in Mandan has been in construction mode for more years than we want to count. The land for the future building was purchased over 10 years ago and through a sale of a portion of the land, the mortgage was paid off.
In the past 2 years, the congregation has taken positive steps to make this property a part of the community with a family of the congregation taking on the responsibility of mowing the 3 acres, trees were trimmed, a 14′ stained cross, which was made and donated by Jim Larson member of Trinity Lutheran Church Kenmare, erected on the site and additional signage beside the road notifying those passing by of the future building site for Living Water Lutheran Church and the times and place of our worship and Sunday School. All of this has added life to our site but an idea was brought up by one of our members about the possibility of using a portion of the land to plant a garden and donate the produce to a local food pantry. The idea became reality when members were identified through a presentation given by Rev. Lisa Ahlness on Asset Mapping following a worship service at Living Water.
Bill & Connie Klesalek, friends of the congregation, volunteered their equipment and time to till the ground in preparation for the planting of a garden. The garden project involved a large percentage of our membership. Members of the garden committee came together to decide what needed to be planted and to have those seeds and plants ready for the seeding by the Sunday school kids, parents and other members.
More life was witnessed on this site with the growth of the garden. A great reminder that the church is not a building but rather it is the members of the congregation being God’s Hands in meeting needs in our community and around the world. Harvest was completed with over 600 lbs. of corn, carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beets, squash, pumpkins, and watermelon, donated to the local food pantry in Mandan.
Another benefit was the wildlife feeding on the sweet corn and some other garden items during the growing season. You never know who or what will benefit from seeds that are planted. Not only did the garden grow but members were able to grow through the witness of seeing this new life coming forth on what was originally dormant land. God’s Work, Our Hands.
submitted by Rev. Ray Anderson, Living Water Lutheran Church