MOUNTAIN IRON — An old-fashioned hog roast Wednesday will “put God’s love in action.”

Area Lutheran churches will join forces to assist local families during this year’s fourth annual fundraiser, which will include all-you-can-eat pulled pork sandwiches with all the fixin’s.

Sponsored by the Laurentian Conference congregations in the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the “Home on the Range: Putting God’s Love in Action” benefit at Messiah Lutheran Church in Mountain Iron will raise funds for the North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s not just for Lutherans and the ELCA. It’s for everybody,” said the Rev. John Dietz, pastor of United in Christ Lutheran Church of Eveleth.

The evening will begin with a 4:30 p.m. choir practice. Live music will continue during the meal from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a concert vespers service.

Free-will offerings will be taken, with a suggested $20 donation.

There will be activities for children, including a bouncy house and petting zoo, Dietz said.

Following the short evening service and blessing, Nathan Thompson, NSLCHFH executive director, will talk briefly about Habitat for Humanity, and a local partner family will speak about “how Habitat has made a difference in their lives,” Thompson said.

The ELCA churches pick a different nonprofit each year to support with the hog roast fundraiser and “open it up for the community at large,” Thompson added. “This is a great opportunity for us. We have a great partnership with the Lutheran community.”

Thrivent Financial, a Lutheran-founded fraternal benefit society, has provided grants to NSLCHFH for many years, Thompson said.

Dietz said the church organization selected the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in part because the Habitat 500 bicycle ride July 14 to 19 is “in our area this year.”

The 500-mile ride, which raises funds and awareness for Habitat, will begin and end in Hermantown, with overnight stops in Hibbing and Aurora. Local participants are riding to assist five home projects this year. Homes are being built in Biwabik, Eveleth and Hibbing.

“We always choose a ministry or organization that does good work in our area or we feel contributes to the wellbeing of our community,” Dietz said.

The North St. Louis County affiliate, founded in 1995, will serve its 96th family this year, Thompson said.

“We’ve had great attendance from the community” at the annual fundraiser. “It’s an event for the area,” Dietz said, encouraging the public to “feel free to come — it’s a good way to learn about Habitat for Humanity” and support the worthy cause.

Thompson agreed.

It’s also an opportunity “for fellowship with other folks,” he said.


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