On Sunday, two area congregations will gather for a festive event.

But they’ll take an offering for a different mission.

The congregations of St. Paul’s and Elim Lutheran churches are gathering for the Seventh Annual “God’s Work. Our Hands” Polka Sunday.

As in the past, this event will include hymns sung to the tunes of polka music during the worship service with a catered meal afterward.

The public is invited to the worship service, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1843 County Road E, Hooper. The service will be a combined one with Elim Lutheran Church of Swaburg.

Lonnie Piitz of Brainard and several members of his Leo Lonnie Polka Band—including his daughter Suzie on piano—will lead the music for the worship service as they have done the past several years. A combined senior choir will sing as well.

After the worship service, members and guests are invited to stay for a pork sandwich meal catered by Becky Stromquist of Oakland. A freewill offering will be taken to help defray expenses of the day.

An offering taken during the morning’s worship service will be directed to the Nebraska Synod-ELCA Flood Relief Fund to help with recovery efforts for the devastating spring and summer flooding in the state, said the Rev. Judy Johnson, pastor.

Help is being offered to communities across the state and especially in the state’s northern counties.

In communities like Lynch, Bristow and Niobrara, near the Spencer Dam, the cleanup and rebuilding will go on well into the future.

Through the relief fund, the synod is providing financial aid and physical help to assist these communities.

Johnson said 100 percent of the donations go directly to help communities devastated by the flooding.

Volunteers are needed for the Nebraska-Bound Mission Trip to Lynch on Oct. 16-19. Lynch and Bristow residents will provide lodging at the community building and meals.

The mission trip is being sponsored by the Nebraska Synod-ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

Work may include hanging sheet rock, painting and other tasks. For more information about the trip, please contact the Rev. Becky Beckmann at 402-841-1063 or dbbeckmann@cableone.net.

Polka Sunday is being coordinated by Rita Cuda, chairperson, and her committee: Jerald and Roberta Bode, John and Dail Diedrichsen, Jane Flores, Sue Johnson and Jane Langemeier.

The Rev. Judy Johnson encourages area residents to attend Polka Sunday and bring their friends.

“There’s a lot of fellowship. It’s fun,” she said. “We’ve had people come from as far away as Columbus — just to come up for the day.”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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