Weather Forecast


Faith news

Peter Thorvig reads the Christmas story from the Bible during the Christmas Service at Spruce Hill Church in 2017. (Echo Press file photo)

Christmas programs

Sonshine Villa, a senior adult foster care center, is inviting the public to two Christmas programs. On Friday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m., Missy Radermacher will share an assortment of Christmas songs, engaging the audience with different instruments. On Friday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m., former pastor Dane Compton will share a Christmas message and songs.

For more information, call Greg at 762-8506. Sonshine Villa is at 110 Sumac Drive in Alexandria.

New Life announces Night to Shine

New Life Christian Church is looking for volunteers to serve as "buddies" during its annual Night to Shine prom for people with special needs.

The church will serve as one of nearly 500 churches around the world hosting the event on Friday, Feb. 8. Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine pampers guests with the red carpet treatment, complete with hair and makeup stations and limousine rides.

Buddies serve as friends for the evening, accompanying the guests during various activities. The church is seeking about 200 people to fill the buddy roles.

For more information about the Alexandria event or to volunteer, call Lindsey at 320-469-8699 or visit

Church hosts potato bar fundraiser

House of Prayer Church will host a potato bar as a community fundraiser for a family in need for Christmas. It will take place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. The menu consists of a baked potato with 20 options for toppings, plus a salad, beverage and dessert. It's a free-will donation, with a suggested $10 per person donation, although the church said it hopes people will exceed that amount.

The theme for the dinner is "Sow a seed to meet a need!"

House of Prayer is at 3020 Rosewood Lane SE in Alexandria. For more information, call 320-762-0828 and or email

Christmas at Spruce Hill Church

Spruce Hill Church will open its doors to the public for its annual old-fashioned, non-denominational Christmas celebration at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.

Run by the Douglas County Historical Society, this historic Swedish Lutheran church holds traditional Easter and Christmas services and a midsummer hymn festival each year.

This year includes pianist Emily Larson, a reading of the Christmas story, and Scandinavian Christmas songs sung by the Hagen family. Diane Kneisl will sing a solo, and Jerry Martin will play a mandolin solo. There will also be time for singing favorite Christmas carols. Homemade Christmas cookies and hot apple cider will be served following the service. A free-will offering will help fund future services.

Spruce Hill Church is at 13148 Spruce Hill Park Road NE in Miltona. Completed in 1902, it provides a glimpse into how families worshiped more than a century ago. It may be worth noting that the church has no indoor plumbing.

For more information, contact the historical society at 320-762-0382 or