What We Offer #1:

Proudly Old-Fashioned

Sunday Worship at 10AM

What if we told you there was a Sunday, church service built just for people who like their worship style "old fashioned?" What if we told you that at 10AM every Sunday there was a church service that focused on singing only hymns with piano accompaniment, where the Lord's Prayer is said, and the point of the thing is to be Old Fashioned?

That is the strategic choice we as a church have made for our 10AM worship time every Sunday. If you like that style of "church," then this is for you. If you love to sings hymns, then this is for you. If you don't feel like you fit in at too many churches, then give us a try.

We proudly present: Our old-fashioned, Heritage Worship hour every Sunday at 10AM.  We love old-time stuff, and we are sure you will too.

What We Offer #2

A Place to Belong and Matter

A great number of people in the US do not feel like they belong anywhere, nor do they feel like they matter. Feelings such as these can lead to all kinds of problems like addictions, unhealthy decisions, or even suicide. Please know that at Homestead Church we have a place just for you; you matter here, and we have saved a seat for you.  Take a chance and join us once, you will be glad you did.

The Power of Community

A.K.A.--See you at Church!

August 31, 2023

In a world increasingly defined by digital interactions and virtual connections, a groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at Harvard University underscores the invaluable health benefits of real-world community engagement. The study, which analyzed the effects of social interactions on well-being, provides substantial evidence that fostering strong community ties can significantly enhance physical and mental health.

Published in the Journal of Health Psychology, the study involved an extensive analysis of data collected from over 5,000 participants spanning a diverse range of age groups and backgrounds. Over a period of five years, researchers meticulously examined the impact of various social activities, such as group gatherings, volunteering, and participation in local clubs, on the participants' overall health.

The results of the study revealed a clear correlation between active community involvement and improved well-being. Participants who engaged in regular social interactions experienced lower levels of stress, decreased incidences of depression and anxiety, and reported higher levels of life satisfaction. Moreover, those who were part of tight-knit social networks tended to exhibit healthier lifestyle choices, including better sleep patterns and more consistent exercise routines.

Dr. Emily Roberts, lead author of the study, commented on the findings, stating, "Our research underscores the importance of human connection in maintaining and promoting good health. Meaningful relationships and a sense of belonging play a vital role in mitigating the negative effects of stress and enhancing overall quality of life."

The study's conclusions resonate strongly with experts in the field of psychology and public health. Dr. James Anderson, a renowned psychiatrist, noted, "Human beings are inherently social creatures. Our emotional and psychological well-being is intricately linked to our interactions with others. This research reminds us that fostering community connections should be a priority for individuals and society as a whole."

In an era marked by increasing social isolation, the Harvard study serves as a wake-up call to prioritize real-world interactions and forge genuine connections. The findings highlight the fact that community engagement can act as a protective buffer against the detrimental effects of loneliness and isolation, ultimately contributing to a healthier and happier population.

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by technology-driven disconnection, the study's message is clear: investing time and effort in building and nurturing communities can be a powerful prescription for improved well-being and a higher quality of life.

For the full study, refer to: "Community Engagement and its Effects on Well-being: A Longitudinal Study," Journal of Health Psychology.

Four Things to Look for

When Choosing a Church

Finding a church to belong to is a complex, and often frustrating, process that many folks find themselves facing each week around the world. So many questions! Here is a list of things that I think are important in a church.

1. A Solid Jesus Culture

This is number one, hands down. When looking for a new church, notice what the church worships. At its best, the church worships the triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit) and seeks to be disciples in loving community. However, as we are all so fallible, "idols" can sneak in and take center stage. Idols are things that take first place as an object of worship in the church. Examples of idols that we see right now in the US are: Christian nationalism, LGBT+ inclusion, political affiliations, worshipping the Bible instead of God, or the size of our church and building. Take care that you do not fall into the trap of worshipping something other than God; it is easy to do.


2. Friendly People

How many people said "hello" to you the first day at the new church? Did anyone take an interest in you being there? Or did most folks, unfortunately, stay in their friend group and not speak to you? These questions help us understand how friendly the church is. After all, don't we go to church to form quality relationships? And if only the people who are paid to talk to you did, then it might be an unfriendly church where you might struggle to make connections.

3. A Solid Mission

What is this church trying to accomplish? Who are they trying to speak to? As much as it pains me to say it, there are good missions and there are bad missions. For example, focusing on ministry to children and their families is a good mission, while focusing on growing the number of people in your organization is not. So ask yourself, can I clearly see how this church wants to change the world? And, is it something that I can commit to and really give to? That is a great starting place.

4. A Place to Grow

Does this church offer me (and my family) opportunities to grow in relationship to God and in my following of Jesus? Key things to look for here are vibrant worship experiences, meaningful discipleship classes, serving opportunities, and other places to use the gifts and talents that God has given you. "Blind faith" is never a good idea and it always disappoints. We are smart, creative beings that thrive when challenged -- does this church seek to bring out the best in you?

Other "Stuff"

You will notice I did not say Awesome Preaching, a Fabulous Building, or Programming. Why? Because those things are nice, but not necessary. A nice building does not put you any closer to God than a block of cheese does. Programming changes and is often linked to church size and resources. In my opinion, seeking these things as primary will leave you disappointed as no church can compete with the flash of corporate America. What a church can do is love God with their whole being, and love others as themselves. Churches can give self-sacrificially to implement the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jennell Loeffler of FSR
Jessica Thornton of FSR

Local Interest:

Family Service Rochester Impacts Our City!

by A. Justice, Oct. 27, '22

Family Service Rochester began in 1965 with a staff of just three.  FSR's mission is to support and enhance the dignity and quality of life for individuals and families in our community. Some fifty seven years later, the organization has  a staff of 150+, over 600 volunteers, and runs over thirty programs in twelve Minnesota counties. They focus on doing good in the areas of  mental health, child-wellbeing, family stability, and senior independence. 

"I have a heart for the older adults, and I love working with  them."  

This past summer I volunteered at FSR and had a great time doing it. The wonderful ladies who connect volunteers and those who need a task done (Jennell and Jessica) set me up most weeks. I mowed some lawns, fixed a few lights, and even made some exterior doors more weather-tight -- it was a great time and I met some great people.  I will continue volunteering and I encourage you to also.

Recently, I was able to sit down and talk with Jennell Loeffler about what she does at FSR. For roughly two years now, Jennell has been working with volunteers to meet the needs of the community, especially the "senior independence" section. At one point she remarked, "I have a heart for the older adults, and I love working with them."  So if you decide to volunteer or to utilize their services, there is a good chance you will end up speaking with Jennell.

I asked Jennell for a really great story from her time at FSR and she immediately mentioned Dominick. As a high school sophomore, Dominick reached out to Jennell and FSR for help. He had the idea of high school students giving care packages to older adults at Christmastime. He had the students ready to go, but needed the senior adult connection. Jennell set him up and away they went. That first year, Dominick and friends gave out 10 of the packages. Shortly thereafter, Jennell received a call from one recipient of the care packages, a woman who told her how touched she was. She had not felt joy at Christmas since her daughter had passed away -- 12 years earlier -- but this year was different, she felt joy! This wonderful call made Jennell cry. Dominick continued the program while in school and has since passed the torch on to his younger brother who now leads the program. 


So what other programs does FSR run for older folks? Great question. Jennell told me that anyone over 60 or anyone with a disability qualifies for their programs. FSR directs the Meals on Wheels program in our county, and this wonderful service runs 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year delivering food to 80 - 100 people per day. Wow! The meals are prepared in cooperation with the kitchen at Shorewood Senior Living, just in case you were wondering. For those wanting to meet some new folks, the Senior Cafe program runs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week and is a time of food and conversation.

If someone needs a helping hand, say with lawn mowing, house cleaning, home repair, shopping, or transportation, then FSR will hook that person up with a neighbor from the community who is happy to help. And if you need of someone to walk through your house to identify possible "fall risks," then FSR will be happy to send someone to visit and do a walk through with you. 

For seniors wanting to sign up, you can call the FSR offices Mon-Thu 8am - 5pm, and Friday 8am - 3pm at (507)  287-2010. From there you will meet with a services coordinator and they will set you up. Be aware that you will be asked to contribute to the cost based on a sliding fee scale -- I have no idea about specifics, but they will fill you in. :-) 

For volunteers wanting to help out, THANK YOU!  Your next step is to visit the FSR website (https://familyservicerochester.org/) and click the VOLUNTEER button at the top right corner. Fill out the forms, wait for them to run a quick background check, and you're ready to get started!  Jennell said the biggest volunteer needs right now are 1) Meals on Wheels drivers, 2) personal transportation drivers, and 3) house cleaners (the waitlist is around 100 folks needing help).

"We love younger volunteers."

One thing Jennell wanted me to know was that families were more than welcome to volunteer with FSR. She often is asked if a family can deliver meals together, for example, and she said absolutely, "We love younger volunteers." So you have plenty of options if you want to do a family volunteer time with your young ones. The only stipulation is that one person must be vetted through the FSR volunteer program.

And there you have it! A wonderful organization making a difference for seniors in our county. Thanks to  Jennell for giving me time out of her busy day to share this story with you. If you need their services, please call! If you want to volunteer, please sign up on the website.  Great job, FSR, Jennell, and Jessica! 

Upcoming Events

Hang tight while we look up scheduled events...

Videos of Interest

Watch a short video on different topics below.