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Grant helps restore roof, maintain services on the prairie

Founded in 1885, Glencoe Sloan Memorial Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in North Dakota to still hold Sunday services in its original building. Now, thanks in part to Capital Electric Cooperative members who contribute to the co-op’s Operation Round Up grant program, the church will continue to serve well into the future.

The church, a Capital Electric business consumer located 16 miles southeast of Bismarck on Highway 1804, has about 30 member-families who help maintain the building and grounds. From painting the siding to mowing the cemetery, members have worked together to preserve this legacy and provide a church home for generations to come.

In the cooperative spirit, many hands make light work — and many small donations make a big difference. The church is currently in need of new shingles. To do the job safely, the membership has hired a contractor with specialized training and tools. Longtime church member Nancy Laschkewitsch estimates the materials and labor will cost around $16,000.

A committee of six elders was formed to discuss ways in which they could raise the money needed for the roof repair. Moderated by Pastor Paul Snyder, the committee planned a fund-raising appeal including letters and a French toast and sausage supper that was held on April 19.

Laschkewitsch says most of the families who attend the church are served by Capital Electric. Many are familiar with the co-op’s Operation Round Up program, in which electric cooperative members round up their monthly utility bills to the nearest dollar and donate their change to local individuals, groups or charities with a specific need. One church member encouraged Laschkewitsch, who serves as church clerk and elder, to apply.

Comfortable with a computer, Laschkewitsch went to www.capitalelec.com and clicked on Forms to download an Operation Round Up application. She printed and completed it, and dropped it off at co-op headquarters in north Bismarck in January. The Charitable Trust board of directors reviewed applications in February and awarded Glencoe Sloan with a $2,000 grant.

“We are very appreciative of this donation!” Laschkewitsch exclaims. She attended the co-op’s check presentation ceremony held on Feb. 25. Each grant recipient briefly explained what the money would be used for, and Laschkewitsch says she enjoyed learning more about the Operation Round Up program and how the money is being used to improve communities served by the cooperative.

The church continues to seek donations to pay for the roof, which will be repaired this spring. Members hope to raise more than their goal, in order to scrape and repaint the wainscoting in the basement. The church welcomes visitors and new members. Several families drive from Bismarck to attend Sunday services, and Laschkewitsch says they are always glad to have made the trip.

As the population across rural North Dakota decreases and country churches slowly close their doors, Glencoe Sloan has stood the test of time. Laschkewitsch credits the church and some special people for working hard to make sure the doors remain open.

“The people here are friendly, and we try to do a lot in this community,” she describes. “We are really interested in keeping our church going.” The church offers Sunday school for the children and Bible studies for the adults. It has two annual dinners, an Easter egg hunt, a Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery, and a Christmas program put on by the children. Sunday services are held at 9 a.m.

For more information on Glencoe Sloan Memorial Presbyterian Church, contact Laschkewitsch at 701-226-6921 or email nanml1944@gmail.com.

 

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