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Methodists invite all to The Well

The congregation at The Well United Methodist Church in Rosemount strives to be an evangelical witness and social gospel to the community.

The church invites the community to attend a special 150th celebration on Sunday, Sept. 2. at the Rosemount campus, 14770 Canada Ave. W.

There will be services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship will feature music through the decades, period costumes and a community picnic next to the church campus.

The theme will honor the past and celebrate the future. Many former pastors have been invited to attend the two services and picnic party.

"Seven people out of our congregation became ministers or missionaries, and we will be sharing a videotape where they will share what the church has meant to them," said the Rev. Karen Bruins.

There is a second campus of The Well in Apple Valley.

The church congregations strive to work toward four core values — caring for kids, living like Jesus, being inclusive to all and intentionally working to be non-partisan.

Last October the church offered a special Sunday evening series called "Know Your Neighbor."

This series of conversations brought the members to talk with neighbors and reach a greater understanding about their lives in Rosemount.

"We had a Muslim couple, someone going through immigration, and parents raising foster children," Bruins said. "The person who was going through the immigration process — he was a member of our congregation, and the week he spoke was the week he took his citizenship vows."

The family talked about need for emergency foster care in Minnesota, and the church supported them as they adopted a child, Bruins said.

This fall "we will have a series of conversations on how to help people talk about difficult things in a safe, respectful way," Bruins said.

Longtime church member Wesley Hasbrouck, 86, said he is proud to say he and wife Joan were the first couple to marry in the current Rosemount church on Oct. 5, 1963.

"I think the greatest gift my church gives is that I think we are welcoming to everybody and we do not discriminate against anyone," the member of 50-plus years said.

Today Hasbrouck serves as the church historian although he has been a leader in the church in many ways.

"One of the things we are doing at the 150th celebration is a woman in congregation who sewed period costumes, so women and little girls will be dressed in pioneer costumes," Bruins said.

"We want to honor the past and work on how does the church make an impact as we move forward?" Bruins said.

Cierra Baumgartner, the church communications coordinator, handles the church's social media outreach, works on graphics and designed the 150th celebration logo.

"I think our message is that we have different locations that are completely different congregations or personalities but we all come together and we call it The Well level," Baumgartner said.

The church has built strong partnerships with Rosemount Family Resource Center and Rosemount Elementary. The church also has members volunteer with Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis.

Each month, the church members collect items as part of the "One Thing" ministry. Members bring one thing to contribute to the greater community. One month member may donate backpacks or coffee for homeless. Another month the one thing could be food for the food shelf or duffle bags for children in foster care.

When the church began its ministry in Rosemount more than a century ago, the services were in the German language. Men and women sat on different sides of the sanctuary. The sanctuary did not have heat and members brought wood for the pot belly stove.

Years ago, the church sponsored what was called a "Catch House" in Rosemount. The church aided those who were unemployed with housing. The residential place served as a safety net to provide housing and assistance that helped people get on their feet to seek independence.

Inviting the community to attend the celebration on Sunday, Bruins added "We want to be an evangelical witness and social gospel — the evangelical witness is about introducing people to a relationship with God, and the social witness says we are to make a difference right here in our world and the world should look different because we are here."