Welcome ...

The Winds of the Prairie website is moving to: https://windsministry.wixsite.com/wotp. Please join us there March 1, 2018.

To Winds of the Prairie Ministries, a five-point parish in south-western Minnesota, consisting of five churches: Bethany Lutheran in Arco, Bethany-Elim Lutheran in Ivanhoe, Grace Lutheran in Lake Benton, Peace Lutheran in Ruthton and St. Paul's Lutheran in Minneota. We are a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Southwestern Minnesota Synod.

God has planted us in rich prairie soil to nourish the faith, reach out with the good news of Christ, and to serve our neighbors.


Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
- Matthew 9:12-13

What we beleive

As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world.

The ELCA Teaches — When Lutherans talk about faith, we are talking about the relationship God’s Holy Spirit creates with us. It’s a relationship where God’s promise of steadfast love and mercy in Jesus opens us to a life of bold trust in God and joyful, generous service to everyone we know and meet in daily life. 

What we are doing

WOW - Worship on Wednesdays at Bethany Arco—Everyone Welcome

  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Meal
  • 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm – Worship
  • 7:15 pm – 7:35 pm – Church School (Preschool – 6th Grade)
  • 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm – TFA – Training for Affirmation (7th & 8th Grade)

Lenten Service Schdule:

• Wednesday evenings during Lent Feb. 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21 5pm Soup Supper at Bethany, Arco 6pm Service at Bethany, Arco

• Sunday, March 25th Palm Sunday 8:30am Bethany, Arco 10:30am Bethany-Elim, Ivanhoe

• Thursday, March 29th Maundy Thursday 6:00pm Bethany, Arco

• Friday, March 30th Good Friday 6:00pm Bethany-Elim, Ivanhoe

• Easter Sunday, April 1st 8:30am Bethany, Arco 10:30am Bethany-Elim, Ivanhoe


o   Thursday, February 15th, 2:30pm Service at Minneota Manor

o    Friday, February 16th 7am Bethany Bible Study 
**** The Bethany Bible study that meets at 7am on Friday mornings will be meeting at the Café on Hwy 19 75 to let more people from Ivanhoe join in.  Please stop in if you can. You are responsible for your own breakfast if you plan to eat.  We would love more participants.****

o    Sunday, February 18th after worship. Farewell Potluck for Pastor Eunice

o    Monday, February 19th 9am Last Bible Study for Grace

o    Tuesday, February 20th 10am Rebekah Circle at Bethany-Elim all are invited

o    Wednesday, February 21st 10am  DPHC Chapel

o    Wednesday, February 21st 5pm Soup and Sandwich supper before Lenten Service at Bethany 6:30pm Service

o    Friday, February 23rd 7am Bethany Bible Study

o    Sunday, February 25 after worship. VBS FUNDRAISER MEAL

Wednesday, March 7th Lentin Service will be a Spaghetti Supper at Arco fundraiser for the Youth!!

o   March 10 Live Generously project 9-3 pm SMSU

o   Sunday, March 11th 11-1pm Beef Dinner at Bethany-Elim

o   Lenten Services - Wednesdays: February 28, March 7, March 14, March 21 - 5:00-6:00pm Soup Supper 6:30pm, all at ARCO

o   Friday, March 2nd 1pm World Day of Prayer at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church

o   Sunday, March 4th 2-4pm Prairie Conference Meeting at SMSU.

o   March 10 Saturday night 6pm service at Bethany-Elim

o   March 11 Daylight savings time - Spring ahead

o   March 25 - Palm Sunday Services

  • 8:30am at Bethany
  • 10:30am at Bethany-Elim

o   March 29 Maundy Thursday service at 6:00pm at Bethany Arco

o   March 30 Good Friday Service 6:00pm at Bethany-Elim Ivanhoe

o   April 1 - Easter Sunday Services

  • 8:30am Bethany Arco
  • 10:30am Bethany-Elim Ivanhoe

o   Wednesday, April 4th No SERVICE at Bethany.

See Newsletter for more Events, News and Schedules.


Remember to Allocate your Thrivent Choice Dollars -  Giving back has always been important to Thrivent and our members. The Thrivent Choice® program provides eligible participants the opportunity to recommend where to distribute some of Thrivent’s charitable outreach funds.  We encourage eligible benefit members to direct your Choice Dollars by March 31, 2018 to make a difference in your church.  The 2017 Choice Dollars expire on March 31, 2018, so we encourage eligible members to direct their Choice Dollars to a designated organization before the deadline. Thrivent provides a variety of tools and resources at www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice to help you make your selection!

Two easy options for directing Choice Dollars:  

1) Online:www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice 

2)  Phone: 800-847-4836 and say "Thrivent Choice" at the prompt.  If you need assistance, please contact your congregational advocate, your Thrivent Representative or call the Member Connection Center.  For faster service, have your member ID or contract number available.

Farm Rescue is Accepting Hay Donations for Ranchers in Crisis
“We are asking people to prayerfully consider making a special donation of hay or a monetary contribution so we can continue delivering feed for livestock of drought-stricken ranch families during this natural disaster.” said Bill Gross, Founder and President, Farm Rescue. “Ranchers who need help in locating or transporting hay should contact our office as soon as possible.”

Contacts: Loren Epple - 507-341-0001, Tony Citterman - 507-530-9164


Mutual Ministry Team
Are the pastor’s or staff doing something you like, dislike, concerned about?  Who do you tell? Your Mutual Ministry Team—these people sit down with the Pastors and Staff and discuss your concerns.

Bethany - Jewel Noble
Bethany-Elim - Twila Koopman
Grace - Darren Nelson
St. Paul - Pam Gregor

Do You know what it takes to be a voting Member of a congregation? According to our constitutions, we must participate in worship, accept communion at least once a year and give a contribution of funds.  We will be going through our records before the annual meeting.  Please help us with our records.  If you know you have communed once this year and didn't  fill out a communion card, please do so.  That is the only way we have to record the communion part.  If you’ve only given cash, and not in an envelope, this is a good time to remind you to use your envelopes.

Sermon Notes
TFA Students please leave sermon notes from Sundays and Wednesdays in the Sermon Boxes at church. Thank you, Pastor Eunice.

Bulletin Deadline
To have any announcements placed in your bulletin please either email the office at: windsministry@gmail.com or call 507-694-1238. The deadline is Wednesday noon to get it in that week.  Thanks

Prayer List
Thank you to all who have called in and updated the prayer list, it has been most helpful. The current Policy is, if you do not give the office or pastor an update within three weeks, your name will be removed.  We want to keep these current in an effort to give everyone an update.Thanks for your attention to this matter.  WOTP Office Staff please call 507-694-1353 or 507-694-1238 to keep your name on the prayer list.  Thanks.

Bible Study
Have you thought about being part of a BIBLE STUDY? The Bible is the Living Word and grows in meaning as we grow in faith. Bible Study is how we are feed, challenge and grow in our faith. For personal study use the daily devotion found on the back of the weekly bulletin following the Faith5 model. Or grab a copy of the devotionals found in the back of the Church. Feed your Spirit and Soul. Current BIBLE STUDIES are listed in the calendar, events insert and home page (above). If those times don’t fit your schedule, start a new one! You don’t need a pastoral minister to be there but they do have resources for you to start one.

Sabbath Days
Pastor Eunice - Fridays. The office phone is always answered by someone on call, even if it's a Sabbath day. In the event a call does go unanswered , it will be returned as soon as possible.

School and Public Events
With 5 different communities, 5 different school districts, and a variety of events the pastoral staff appreciates when we are informed of events that involve our members. A week's notice is best so there is time to work events into the schedule. Written notes or email is best so there is a reference.

If you would like the pastor to call on you when you are expecting a hospitalization, please let us know. With the number of hospitals that our congregations cover it is always handy to know which hospital a person is at and what name they are under, as well as the dates he/she expects to be there. Federal regulations are such that people can't just call and ask who might be there; we need to know names, especially if we know you by a nickname and you are listed under your legal name.

When calling the Winds of the Prairie Ministry Office please call 507-694-1238. Outside of office hours the number is usually forwarded to the pastor on call.

Winter Weather Policy
Our Policy is that the WOTP council President and the Pastor’s will talk on Wednesday by 4pm and Sunday morning by 6am and make a decision on the weather.  On Wednesday if School is cancelled because of weather then Church & Church School will also be cancelled. Cancelations will be made by phone tree, KMHL, KKCK, KJOE, KLOH & KISD radios. It will also be available on line at Marshallradio.net   If you are questioning if Church is on or not, I suggest you call your council president for an update.  We want you to be safe.  It is the position of the Parish that some may choose to have a Church service without a Pastor present and have a lay led worship service.

Mission Statement: As members of these congregations, we commit ourselves to this mission:

  1. To be united in our mission as Christ’s disciples and  to increase the vitality of our individual congregations by working together
  2. To cooperate in such a way as to bring together sufficient financial and human resources to do effective and faithful ministry in all of our congregations.
  3. To recognize and strengthen the gifts of congregational members as we work in partnership with our called staff.
  4. To develop shared ministry and expand a wide variety of specific ministry opportunities.