Two of the students (Michael Oellig and Katherine Tuttle) went to Weyerts and The United Church on the Plains. On the way there, one student was able to speak with Pastor Alm about church structures. He expressed concerns about the ELCA polity structure which is rather prohibitive, particularly in his ecumenical church which is a joint congregation between the ELCA and PCUSA.
Weyerts service, while historically German, was rather low church. The congregation sat in the back half of the building. While at the United Church, the congregation met in the ELCA building. Since the church is a result of a merger of two local congregations, there continues to be a conflict about which building should be used. The service generally followed a Lutheran context.
In the afternoon, two students (Matt Lawler and Steve Bogie) had to return to Chicago to begin CPE assignments while the other students spent the day with their host families in relaxation and reflection.
Monday May 26th
The group started the day by visiting the former site of the Sioux Army Depot. Much of the site has been dismantled, while remaining buildings were re-purposed into facilities such as dwellings, storage, and industry.
The group attended Memorial Day services at Weyerts. The services started with reflection in the cemetery with many of the families who have deep roots with those interned there. The service was held in the sanctuary followed by fellowship augmented with coffee and doughnuts.
Following the services, the students went to the farm of Phil and Kathy Narjes for a tour and a hearty farm banquet. On tour, students got to feed a calf, hold several newly born farm cats, see Phil’s large collection of cars and farm equipment, and gather freshly laid eggs from a chicken coop.
After the time spent eating and experiencing farm life, the students ended the day at Sullivan Hills Camp.