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Eidskog gave 350 plates, 450 cups, coffee pots and silverware to Hope.

purpose for which they were intended.” But how could they

accomplish this? Run an advertisement? “Yep, on a whim, that’s what

we did,” Haukos said. Eidskog members ran an ad in Te Lutheran (July 2015), saying when the church was closing and listing available items. Dick Jackson of River Falls,

Wis., some 200 miles from Ortonville, came across the ad and “on a whim” called the folks at Eidskog. He is a member of Hope Lutheran, a congregation that, unlike Eidskog, isn’t closing but rather hoping to open soon. Te 10-year- old congregation broke ground for a building in September 2015. Aſter connecting with people at

Eidskog, Jackson and his wife, on behalf of their congregation, made the trip west to have a look at what Eidskog had to offer. “We were blown away by all the stuff they were simply giving away,” Jackson said. Aſter reporting back to Hope’s

council, Jackson said they decided to “pretty much take everything they had to offer. We took the church pews, the whole kitchen— including the stove and refrigera- tor—folding chairs, tables and even five fire extinguishers.” Te items were loaded on a semitrailer and hauled to River Falls. “When we were able to connect

with Hope, we were very elated that our church furnishings would be used for the purposes for which they were intended,” Haukos said. “I

Author bio: Jackson is a retired financial adviser and freelance writer who lives between homes in River Falls, Wis., and Naples, Fla., with his wife, Linda.

have been a very strong advocate of this whole process because I think it is very cool that we can help Hope make their church dream a reality.” Knutson agreed: “Tat a new

church could make use of all that we had was good news for Hope Lutheran and good news for us.” About 230 people attended

Eidskog’s last service, formally called the “rite for leave-taking.” Roger Tweiten was one of eight members from Hope who attended

the closing service. “One could quickly appreciate the long, rich history of this church reaching back to 1885,” he said. “Te ser- mon and music accentuated the service of closing, but it wasn’t until the actual stripping of the altar, carrying out of the Bible and other artifacts one by one, that the enormity of the situation gripped us and tears of sorrow began to well up in our eyes. Te church was literally having its

last rites, its funeral.” Sandy Johnson, pastor of Hope,

wasn’t able to attend Eidskog’s final service but sent a message to be read. It said, in part: “Tank you for all of the giſts you are sharing with Hope Lutheran. Tey will help make possible the continuation of your ministries through the furthering of ministries in which Hope now participates. Tanks be to God for your generosity.” 

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