May 28, 2020

Dear Evangelical Free Church Family,

We are blessed to announce that we will be resuming our corporate Sunday worship services on June 7th.  We are writing to communicate the procedures and practices that we have prayerfully put in place in order to keep one another safe as we gather to worship.  Your help and cooperation is essential to our plan.

We are fully aware that there are members of our congregation that may be at higher risk for COVID-19 or are serving those who are at higher risk.  We will be offering a video recording of the service to express our love and care for you, should you feel lead by the Lord to not gather in person at this time.  Please email the church at or call us to let us know if this is your choice for now as it will help greatly with our planning.

For those who choose to gather on Sunday for worship, please know that some things will be different as we are adjusting to these new safety practices.

What we are doing and what we are asking from you to ensure the safety of our congregation:

  • Before you arrive, please assess yourself and your family for COVID-19 symptoms.  We ask that you stay home if you or someone in your household has a fever of 100.4 degrees or is experiencing a persistent cough, shortness of breath or other related symptoms.
  • We want you to feel comfortable wearing a mask to the worship service.  Though masks will not be required, they will be available in case you do not have one.
  • The church will be set up to easily accommodate social distancing.  We ask that all members of the same household sit together and maintain six feet of “social distancing” from other households.
  • We ask the church family to be creative in ways to greet each other without the use of hugs and handshakes.  We will be setting bulletins out for you to gather as you come in. There will be a large basket in the back of the church for offerings instead of passing offering plates.  Please bring your own Bible! 
  • Two services of up to 80 people will be held in order to keep the number of church family members at 25% of the building’s capacity.  For the first two Sundays, we will divide the congregation using the alphabet.  We will also use these two weeks to gather your preferences for meeting time as we move forward.  Families with last names from A-H are asked to come for the 9:00 am service.  Families with last names of I-Z are asked to come to the 11:00 am service.  The schedule will be tight!  Please plan on departing for home no later than 10:15 am if you are coming to the 9:00 am service.  Please plan on arriving no earlier than 10:45 if you are coming to the 11:00 am service.
  • The worship service (announcements, singing, testimonies, preaching) will be slightly abbreviated and there will be no Sunday school or nursery in order to accommodate the scheduling of two services.  This is also designed to mitigate the risk of exposure as we gather during this time.
  • The church building will be undergoing deep cleaning before the Sunday services.  A cleaning of “common touch” areas and restroom facilities will also be conducted between the two Sunday services.  Hand sanitizer and Kleenex will be readily available.  We ask that all take the proper care in washing their hands as needed.
  • We will not be serving any food or beverages at this time.

Please “tune in” to Pastor Marlin’s message this Sunday, May 31st as he has a special message to prepare us for our coming together in person on Sunday, June 7th.

This has been a long and trying time.  God has definitely been active and holding us in His hands.  We, as leaders, would like to thank each of you for your efforts to minister to one another as the body of Christ.  The ensuing weeks will continue to be a test of our one another principles as we come together in love for the Lord and each other.  We are so excited to walk with the Lord, together with you, through this transition.  He has a work to do in and through us.

In Christ’s care,

Anthony Bermel 218-235-0570 Bruce Sweney 218-780-7470

John Filander 218-410-1266 Marlin Bjornrud 218-984-3402

Nathan Thompson 218-750-7443 Ron Sutton 218-994-1776

Tom Clayton 218-780-7195

The elders of the Evangelical Free Church of Embarrass

May 15, 2020

Dear Evangelical Free Church of Embarrass Family,

Greetings, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, from your church’s elders; Anthony, Bruce, John, Marlin, Nathan, Ron and Tom. Please know that you are on our hearts and minds and we are bringing you up to our Lord in prayer as we face this time of health crisis, stay at home orders, and social distancing.

We pray that this communication finds you well, both spiritually and physically, rejoicing in your relationship with Jesus Christ while facing the adversity that the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought upon us. This situation has brought suffering both from health issues with this disease and from the impacts of dealing with the pandemic: loss of work, economic impact, social impact and not being able to worship together as a church body on Sunday. The suffering is real and we are burdened by all of it.

We miss you and long to fellowship and worship the Lord together with you as a congregation. We know that God is sovereign and in control of this situation. He does not contradict Himself in His Word when He commands us to “not forsake meeting together” (Hebrews 10:25) and to “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” (1 Peter 2:13). We are praying for the Lord’s wisdom as we plan our transition back to Sunday worship gatherings. In accordance with Biblical instruction to “seek with many advisers” (Proverbs 15:22), we are asking for wisdom from other Godly leaders, congregations of like mind, our local and state health officials, and you. We would like your input as we make our plans in anticipation of meeting together in the near future. Please pray about this and let us know your thoughts. You can contact any one of us, or send an email to the church at We will endeavor to be considerate and mindful of all the various views on this subject within our church family.

Please be preparing your hearts and minds for the time when we will again meet, whatever form it may take. We really believe that each of us needs to prepare before God for that special day, when we come back together for worship. This will be a time which will require each of us to express:

· Unity – Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16

· Humility – Philippians 2:1-18

· Passion for the Gospel – 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

· Boldness – Hebrews 10:19-25

· Love – 1 Corinthians 13, John 13:34-35

We continue to step up our efforts to minister to the body through reaching out via phone calls or other technology to edify you in the Lord. We communicate any praises and concerns from the body to each other weekly and pray for you. We rejoice in your strength in the Lord and bring your challenges and sorrows before our Heavenly Father. We ask of you, as we have before, to continue striving together to minister to each other through the “one another” principles that we hold dearly as a body in Christ. As you let the Word of God dwell in you richly during this time, please continue to reach out to one another and to us to offer words of edification and encouragement in the Lord and express your joys, sorrows, challenges and triumphs.

Finally brothers and sisters, pray for us as we seek to serve the Lord by serving you through leading our church as those who must give an account for the stewardship God has placed on us.

Relying on our Sovereign Lord with you,

Anthony Bermel 218-235-0570 Bruce Sweeny 218-780-7470

John Filander 218-410-1266 Marlin Bjornrud 218-984-3402

Nathan Thompson 218-750-7443 Ron Sutton 218-994-1776

Tom Clayton 218-780-7195

The elders of the Evangelical Free Church of Embarrass

May 3, 2020

The Deeper Life Bible Camp board has made a very difficult decision.  After much prayer, information gathering,and discussion, with sadness of heart, the board has decided to cancel all camps for 2020. Because of the size of the camp, and a lack of onsite full-time staff, the logistics of keeping the camp facility safe for everyone while following the CDC and Health Department guidelines proved to be unworkable. We are already looking forward to and making plans for the 2021 camp season. Be watching for further communications from the camp.

May 2, 2020

Our governor has extended the “stay at home” order until May 18, which means we will have no group gatherings for the next three weekends. We are praying that after the 18th, the news will be good, and we will be able to start planning for some kind of transition that will ultimately lead to us having our regular full gatherings once again.

Needs were excitedly met again this week. If you, or someone you know, has a need, please contact us. We are ready to serve.

April 2, 2020

Dear Embarrass Evangelical Free Family,

We are all experiencing challenges that three weeks ago were not even a part of our imagination. The suffering that the whole world is going through, both in terms of people infected with the COVID-19 virus and with people challenged with the economic and social ramifications of the steps being taken to mitigate the spread of the disease, is heart breaking to see and experience.

As you know, we are under Governor Walz’s “stay home” order which extends through April 10th. With you, we are doing our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by limiting our physical contact and proximity with people, in order to slow the spread of the disease and give the health authorities a chance to gear up to meet the increasing number of people who will need help in getting through the infection. Many of you have also seen that President Trump extended the “slow the spread” directive with limitations for social gatherings through the month of April. To do our part in this effort and to safeguard our community, especially those who might be vulnerable to this disease, the elders have prayerfully decided to extend the cancelation of our Sunday congregation assembly, Kids on the Rock, Youth Group, and other gatherings as they pertain to the guidelines issued by our local, state and national authorities through the month of April.

As elders, we continue to communicate with each other throughout these days and have been having group communication with each other every Tuesday. As leaders we have been lifting you up in prayer and also seeking ways in which we can be a blessing, encouragement and help to you during these challenging times. We have been excited to see the many creative ways in which you all have chosen to minister to each other in the body of Christ! The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 4:11-16, explains that Christ gave the Church spiritual leaders and instructed them to equip the saints so that they (the saints!) could perform the work of the ministry and edify the body of Christ. We are so blessed to see this at work in your daily “one another” actions towards each other and your community.

We urge you to keep on keeping on! We would also like to challenge you to start a human (phone/Skype/Facetime) prayer chain in these next few weeks. Look through the Church Directory (you may have a copy in a drawer at your home or you can email Jennifer at and call one, two, or three (insert more numbers here) people. As you call each person, consider visiting with them in a deeper way to see how they are “really doing.” Bless them with some encouraging words, cry with them, extend love and grace. After you have done this, take a couple of minutes to pray with them over the phone. This may be awkward at first if you have never prayed over the phone but we all know that God desires our prayers, and they are effective! Maybe you can have the first person you call be someone that you know very well for practice and then ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to someone that you don’t know as well.

Suggestions for prayer:

  • Praise the Lord, our wonderful creator, healer and friend.
  • Pray for each other’s needs that you identified as you started your visit.
  • Pray for the suffering that we are seeing in the world and that God would use this time to draw people closer to Himself.
  • Ask that the Lord’s will be done in this trial and pray that the medical community would find effective therapeutic medicines to help with this disease or a vaccine as soon as possible.
  • Pray for healing – the Lord could choose to lift this challenge from this world if that were His will.
  • Pray that the Lord would give you strength and wisdom as you do the best you can to obey the medical guidelines to mitigate the spread of the disease and that He would give you safety as you both go about your work and necessary tasks like grocery shopping, etc.
  • Pray for our local, state, national and world leaders and health provider community. May God give them wisdom to make the correct decisions as they lead in these challenging times.
  • Ask the Lord to make both of you a blessing to others and to lead each of you in making personal connections within the body of Christ and in your community.
  • Thank the Lord for his goodness, faithfulness, sovereignty, love, power and (especially) His presence with you during these days of “social distancing!”

You may also consider praying through a passage of Scripture. As elders, our hearts are with you; we are bowing our knees to the Father even as the Apostle Paul did for the church in Ephesians 3:14-21.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Dear brothers and sisters, do not loose heart. Use this time to strengthen and uphold one another! Please know that we as elders are here for you. Please feel free to reach out to us to receive (or offer) encouragement, prayer, or express a need or concern.

Ministering together with you through His power that is at work within us,

The elders of the Evangelical Free Church of Embarrass


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