Delivering hope through donuts and bread


CANISTOTA, S.D. (KELO) — The United Church of Canistota suspended its in-person services on March 13th, but that hasn’t stopped Pastor Jerry Bertelson from delivering hope to his congregation.

It’s quiet in rural South Dakota as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the way of life in small towns across the state.

“Many farmers are having the same kind of questions like many other people. How long is this going to go on, and how long can we keep going with the way things are, and so they’re impacted just as much, if not more so,” Pastor Jerry Bertelson said.

That’s why Pastor Jerry Bertelson is showing his appreciation to farming members in his congregation.

“My hope in bringing donuts and bread to the farmers is to remind them that they’re not alone, and we’ll get through this together,” Pastor Jerry Bertelson said.

Social distancing is nothing new to farmers like Steve Richarz.

“A lot of days we don’t see anybody out here you know. Even in our busy season, we’re pretty much all off working by ourselves,” Canistota Farmer Steve Richarz said.

A visit from his pastor is a welcome sight.

“It’s nice to see a little appreciation, so yeah it means a lot,” Richarz said.

And the donuts and bread have much more meaning to them than simply providing food.

“Who doesn’t like donuts, and bread is a symbol in the Christian tradition of God’s provision. And in time’s like these it’s helpful to be reminded of God’s provision in our lives, and there is hope, that someday this will end, and there is hope at the end of the tunnel,” Bertelson said.

The United Church of Canistota in-person services have been suspended until at least May 10th, though they still do broadcast their services online.

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