Dear Siblings in Christ,


The Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words to express. (Romans 8:26-27)



A little over a week ago the North Prairie faith community, the family, and surrounding community started their grief journey with the acknowledgement of Martha Johnson’s death. She was 105 years old and the owner of the Fremont General Store located in Fremont, Minnesota. Martha told many stories about her life and other people’s lives from her favorite chair towards the back of the store. She was the “to go” person for many who stopped in to inquiry about their family ancestry. She is greatly missed, but her memory continues through the stories that the collective community shares about her.


Over the past two years, as a collective faith community and society, we have grieved so many “little” deaths in our lives as we have journeyed through the COVID-19 Pandemic. The past year has held many more lessons than anyone could imagine learning at one time. In addition, we have experienced various protests plus senseless violence and turmoil. Life is fragile, and we are pushed to wonder if humanity still sees life as sacred. Trauma is real, both individually and communally.


Shaped by the Holy Spirit, we will see how everything we learned this past year about ourselves and about humanity, can somehow make the world better. This has changed us all, and we will feel its impact for years to come. Martha encountered life changing events in her life, may we have the strength and courage to move forward with positivity that Martha demonstrated in her life.


The Holy Spirit that makes me a part of a community of faith, helps to shape who I am throughout my life. Martha Johnson loved the Sunday school songs that she taught her class many years ago. One of her favorites was “Jesus Loves Me”. The family and I sang that song to her two weeks before she died. Martha’s face changed to an incremental smile when I shared with her that we were going to sing “Jesus Loves Me”. The Spirit that promises to intercede for each of us throughout our lives, with sighs and a few cheers along the way, as well.


In Christ’s love, Pastor Sarah