La Crescent UMC is in Swedish News
by Becky Haack
Visitors at JOLT
On Wednesday night at JOLT the Olson team was up for serving dinner. We met at 4pm to prep the final pieces of the meal. At around 4:45 in walked a pair of visitors. They introduced themselves as a writer, Therese and photographer, Linus from the Swedish Daily Newspaper. They were to do an article on how Americans in church were handling the results of the elections.
Therese and Linus had travelled from The Cities to La Crosse and hoped to find stories on both sides of the river. They looked for a church to visit on the MN side of the Mississippi River. After perusing websites, they thought a visit to JOLT might be a perfect opportunity to visit with church members about the election. They spent 45 minutes with us in the kitchen. At 5:20 we all stopped for the 520 prayer time. Then at 5:30 talked with some JOLT diners about the conversations going on during the meal.
The next day they left La Crosse to head north along the WI side of the river to Stockholm, WI for some WI perspectives.
“Valet delade svenskbygden – svårt att ena USA igen” was the article featured on Sunday morning, November 20th on their website. Unable to read Swedish, we used Google translate to read the article.
To briefly summarize the article, the Wednesday night dinner gives people the time to sit down and break bread together to gain understanding of one another. While people may not agree with one another, they are able to share during dinner their experiences with one another. Therese briefly discussed some harassment (not accurate in article) our members experienced on the day after the election results – she left out that the dinner that same evening at JOLT helped to create understanding and conversations.
While they chose WI to visit because it had changed from Democrat to Republican, Therese was surprised to hear that MN has not been Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972. Not that her surprise shows up in the writing. It was on her face in the conversation.
Therese wrote that we all agreed that social media is part of the problem. It is necessary that people find ways to communicate personally with one another.
As a member of a relatively small church in a small town in MN, I think it is pretty darned neat that our little church was visited by the Swedish National Newspaper.
They found us through our website. A website that gave accurate information and allowed our planet to become a little bit smaller.
It gave my children the chance to read (through Google translate) through the lens of one Swedish writer on our current political situation.
What an opportunity for my children to shake hands with someone randomly visiting from Europe?!
The chance to learn about people from outside of our little part of the world!
Thank you for the opportunity!
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