Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Cruisn’ to church, but not for a sermon July 27, 2016



FOR ST. JOHN’S UNITED CHURCH of Christ, Wheeling Township, a weekend Cruise-In Car Show offers an opportunity to bring the community together.

There’s no ulterior motive. This isn’t a fundraiser. The church isn’t trying to get folks to join.

Rather, says Steve Wille of the St. John’s Revitalization Group, the Car Show is strictly a social event aimed at bringing folks together in a neighborly sort of way. I like that. Visiting with your neighbors, he says, seems to be a lost art.

The parking lot at St. John's United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township, is nearly full 20 minutes before the congregation's annual performance of The Last Supper Drama.

St. John’s United Church of Christ, Wheeling Township. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

St. John’s, a country church located east of Faribault near Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, is good at reaching out to the community. The congregation hosts annual events like the Big Woods Run, The Last Supper Drama, German Fest, an ice cream social and more. I’ve been there many times, often enough that congregants know me. These folks are country friendly and welcoming. And they’re fantastic cooks and bakers.

No St. John’s event is complete without food. Pork sandwiches and snacks will be available at the 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, July 30, Cruise-In Car Show.

Car Show is a bit of a misnomer, though. Trucks and tractors are also welcome with first place trophies awarded to each of the top three.

If you enjoy cruise-ins, country churches, a rural setting and visiting, consider attending (or participating in) St. John’s first-ever Cruise-In Car Show.

FYI: St. John’s is located 10 miles northeast of Faribault. Take Minnesota State Highway 60 east for eight miles and then turn north onto Rice County 24. Drive two miles to 19086 Jacobs Avenue.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


9 Responses to “Cruisn’ to church, but not for a sermon”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    These summer days are filled with such events…..each vying for our attention! This coming weekend is Houston’s “Hoedown” and will occupy our time 100%……..our son/DIL’s convenience store always has special foods from the smoker that our son sets up on premises. I keep busy in the kitchen cleaning up the unending stacks of pizza pans (mostly ‘personal’ sized). Food that is made fresh and isn’t deep fried(!) draws many!!! Great fun,though (since one can make it thru these types of days as long as it’s only once a year…..hmmmmmm?????).

    • I bet your food is delicious. I’d like to hear more specifics about what your family serves.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        Well, day 1 of Hoedown could be deemed a success for son’s BBQ. Sold out of the chicken quarters in a half hour! Doing triple the amount today. Simple “menu”: 1/4 chicken or a generous pulled pork sandwich both with choice of chips and a soda for $6. The meats are smoked with apple wood and bushed with apple juice while being smoked. No sauce/dry rub while cooking. So good!!!!!

      • Congrats on the food sale successes. Obviously this is some great food at a good price and your customers recognize that. I love pulled pork and your son’s recipe sounds delicious.

      • treadlemusic Says:

        It was and he’s already planning next year’s amounts!!!!!!!

  2. That sounds like a good time.

  3. Don Says:

    These types of events are what helps separate rural life from city life! I miss that. Keep on keeping on until I get there (someday soon I hope).

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