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Northern Wilds September 2018


Faith, Community and Humility

On Sunday morning a bell rings, sounding across the forested hills of the remote North Shore community of Hovland, summoning the faithful to services at Trinity Lutheran Church. As in many small communities, Trinity is the only church in Hovland and as such serves not only as a house of worship, but also as a social gathering place. You can find churches like this throughout the Northern Wilds, even in cities like Duluth and Thunder Bay, where many churches once served immigrant, ethnic neighborhoods.

In this issue of Northern Wilds, we embarked upon a project to find some of those churches and tell their stories. We’re pleased with the results. Some of the churches we feature here are now historic sites, while others still host gatherings of the faithful. In one instance, we feature a community of faith that has no church or, in their case, synagogue. What we discovered is that a common thread runs through all of these stories: None of these churches would exist without a community to support them. Temius Nate, whose Ojibwe father, Edward, became an ordained Anglican minister and built a church on Miminiska Lake in the northern Ontario wilderness, summed it up best when he said, “A church is just a building, but it has a lot of meaning.” It is at a church where many celebrate the milestones of life: birth with baptisms, the coming of age with confirmations and bar mitzvahs, selecting a mate with marriages and deaths with funerals. A lot of the happiness and sorrow in the lives and times of individuals, families and communities occurs beneath the sheltering roof of a church. That is a humbling thought.

Speaking of humility, we’d like to point you to Julia Prinselaar’s Northern Traditions column, where she reflects on her role as a keeper and instructor of the ancient craft of tanning hides. You may appreciate her perspective. In her Strange Tales column, Elle Andra-Warner writes about an extensive, but little-known ministry that reaches out to seafarers on the Great Lakes—another example of humility. Although they may not necessarily be humble, Maren Webb reports on businesses in Duluth and Thunder Bay that are creating outdoor gathering places called patios and parklets in front of restaurants and shops. As she points out, these little oases are truly communal efforts.

In this issue we are introducing a new column from a familiar face. Actually, Shawn Perich’s Points North isn’t new, but going forward it will be found exclusively in Northern Wilds. Expect him to cover everything from the outdoor life along the North Shore to offering commentary on conservation and the environment. You’ll find other stories by Shawn in this issue, including a fun piece about a Belgian family he recently met at a fly-in fishing lodge. We are also developing an online format where you can read weekly columns from Shawn and related news that won’t be published in our print edition. We’ll keep you posted on that front. But for now, get outside and enjoy summer while it lasts. By the end of September, autumn will be here.Shawn Perich and Amber Pratt


Past Issues

 

Northern Wilds August 2018

 


Northern Wilds July 2018

 


Northern Wilds June 2018

 


 

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