As you are no doubt aware, our beloved Northwest Conference school, Minnehaha Academy, experienced a horrific explosion at its Upper School facility on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
Tragically, two employees, Ruth Berg and John Carlson, were killed as a result. A number of other faculty and staff members were also injured. This included the loss of a leg by custodian and assistant soccer coach, Bryan Duffey.
Minnehaha has been such a positive influence on so many within the Northwest Conference as well as within the entire Covenant Church, and beyond. Thus, as Superintendent, I am declaring the month of October to be “Minnehaha Academy Month” in our region.
As such, I am strongly appealing to each and every one of our churches and leaders by requesting the following:
- Please identify one Sunday in October to highlight the ministry of Minnehaha Academy in your church service. Let people know that Minnehaha is owned by the NWC. Please find the enclosed insert to be used with any bulletin you might have. These could also be placed in church mail boxes or mailed out to your people. You may also find a copy of this insert and an additional slide graphic for onscreen promotins on the NWC website for replication.
- Pray for Minnehaha in the service. While many churches prayed for the school immediately following the explosion, we want to assure school leaders of our continued prayers throughout the school year.
- Announce prior to that particular Sunday service that an offering will be taken on that day for the school as a ministry we share in common with churches throughout our region.
- Have your people make out their checks to your local church designated for Minnehaha Academy.
- Have your church then send one check made out to the Northwest Conference designated for Minnehaha. We will then provide one check to the school with 100% of the funds collected from churches. We will also send an accompanying letter expressing our prayers and support, listing each church that participated in the love offering. The actual amounts received from each church will not be included in this particular letter. Rather, it will be a sign of solidarity with the school where “In It Together” participation will be the primary message conveyed. However, the dollar amount given from each church will be made available to the M.A. finance department for its records.
- Our goal is to present these funds to school leadership by mid-November.
We know that on the front end of any tragedy, many people rally around to lend support. However, we also know that, in time, many move on to other things. This leaves the primary burden on those who are most directly part of the Minnehaha community, primarily administration and faculty members.
Therefore, the offering collected will provide resources to be utilized at the discretion of school leadership. These funds may be for such things as classroom supplies or faculty assistance. The funds may also help cover other unanticipated and indirect needs as a result of the explosion and subsequent relocation.
If ever there was a time to show our collective support for one of our most historic and life-changing ministries, it is now!
Thank you ahead of time for your willingness to be a blessing to those that help make M.A. a place where Christian faith and learning continue to be joined together. Download your Minnehaha Academy Sunday resources below.
Superintendent Mark R. Stromberg