Some of you know Kevin and Jean Syverson. Kevin drives the school bus for Dilworth Elementary. Like many retired baby boomers, Kevin now works part-time and loves to plant trees. He lives what our founding father, Martin Luther, once penned, “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” Be sure to ask Kevin how many trees he’s planted!!

A few years ago, Kevin and Jean went through several major transitions: Kevin retired from the Railroad; after 23 years of working in Christian Education, Jean switched jobs; and they moved to Dilworth. Then the pandemic hit, and with it came an isolation that accentuated their need for community and fellowship.

After this upheaval, Jean and Kevin longed to be grounded. “When we moved to Dilworth we had a deep desire to be known, to belong,” Jean said.

Jean and Kevin started coming to Dilworth through the drive-in worship. Even the worship wasn’t the same as being in person, they found a spiritual home. “The pandemic makes it more difficult to get to know people,” they reflected. “But the worshipping community has given us a sense of home. We feel grounded here. We love having a good mix of old and young in our new faith community and enjoy both our traditional and contemporary worship services.”

Kevin was also happily surprised to find a couple of his Railroad friends at church too. He hopes he can someday be a part of a men’s group who like to fix up the church. “I want to contribute to my church,” he said. “It is a two-minute drive to our new church, and we are only 20 minutes away from our grandson. Life is good!” they proudly proclaimed.

Jean and Kevin love their new home, small town life, and getting to know their neighbors. “You can tell who the members of our church are by the signs on their lawn,” they said. “Love God. Love neighbor. That’s what we do at Dilworth Lutheran.”

If there is an event going on at Dilworth Lutheran Church, Sandy Stultz is there. Whether she is baking pies for the Fall Dinner, participating in weekly Bible studies, or rounding up volunteers, Sandy loves serving the church.

Sandy has been actively involved in Dilworth for over 50 years. Early in their marriage, Sandy and Dennis moved to Dilworth. Sandy grew up with a strong faith and she wanted to pass this onto her children. When Sandy arrived at Dilworth Lutheran Church, she was looking for familiarity, for a place where her family could become part of a larger community in love and service. “The warmth of Dilworth Lutheran drew me in,” Sandy shared. “The people made me feel welcomed and invited me to be involved in many different areas of church ministry.”

One special person invited Sandy to become a Sunday School teacher and this made all the difference. “Teaching Sunday School let me be near my children as they were growing up and helped me talk about the faith with them. From Sunday School, I got to know the warm, friendly, caring people of Dilworth of all ages in the congregation. And from there, I stayed involved.”

For Sandy, this ministry of Dilworth Lutheran has been central to her faith life. “I am so thankful and blessed by all the friendships, prayers, and bible studies of Dilworth. I love all the pastors we have had here. They truly care about people.”

The work of being involved has been transformative for Sandy. “The ministry of Dilworth is not only for people inside the church, but it is also carried outside of Dilworth Lutheran into people’s everyday lives. The church has helped me to open my thoughts emotionally and spiritually and helped me become more accepting of today’s society.”

“I am so thankful Dilworth Lutheran Church,” Sandy says. “It has been a real blessing to be a part of this community.”

Jacob is an energetic 7th grader, excited to visit with everyone he meets.

Before coming to Dilworth Lutheran Church, Jacob attended a larger church where he did not know many people. Although he enjoyed some activities at this church, he wanted to be in a community closer to home.

Jacob and his mom tested out Dilworth Lutheran and instantly felt welcomed by all the friendly people.

“Pastor Elizabeth told a story about someone lifting another person up during our first visit,” he says. “Since joining Dilworth, I feel lifted up by the church, and especially Hannah. She is so optimistic and nice about everything.”

Jacob loves the way Dilworth nurtures his faith in big and small ways. “One of the best things I’ve done at Dilworth is going on a mission trip with Hannah to Duluth. I met so many other children and saw how I can make a difference. It was life changing.”

Jacob finds joy in the daily life of the church. He loves communion, singing in church, seeing his friends, and the FOOD! “I love when the ladies in the kitchen tell me to ‘eat up’ because they have the best treats.”

Jacob’s faith has grown at Dilworth Lutheran Church. He feels connected to many people and has found the community he longed for. He loves being part of Dilworth Lutheran’s community, and, of course, snagging some of those extra treats!

Your generosity to Dilworth helps create the welcoming and nurturing environment centered in Christ that Jacob finds here.

Steve Varty owns a construction company for framing new home builds. He’s married and has two quickly growing boys. While he spends his days working in town, he tries getting outdoors in the woods or on a lake, hunting and fishing, as often as possible.

Steve grew up near Twin Valley and was active in church growing up. He spent his youth at church with grandparents. “Growing up, faith and family always went together,” Steve says.

In college, Steve had little church connection. Life was busy with work and school.

Once Steve got married, however, he knew that he wanted church to be the foundation of his new family’s life. When Steve and his family moved to Dilworth, they joined Dilworth Lutheran Church. Dilworth has been a place to grow with his family in faith.

“Dilworth Lutheran is similar to me to time in the boat and in the woods. It gives me an hour to sit, hear from God, and relax. I like thinking through Pastor Dan and Pastor Elizabeth’s sermons. After a stressful week, Dilworth brings me back to what is most important in my life: faith and family.”

Steve feels blessed to have found a church like Dilworth that allows him to share his faith with his family and community.

She remembers being asked a number of times after her diagnosis, “Aren’t you mad at God for letting this happen to you?”
“You can choose to be bitter or you can choose to be better,” she would reply. “I choose to be better.”

“Church lifts up my spirits. My faith and the church are part of my healing. Now I pray every night and every morning. I know I am here for a reason because He brought me into the world.”