Worshipers Gather to Heal and Talk About Church's Future


"We didn't lose the church. We are the church" - Pastor Gary Ganger

Syracuse, Neb.-- The flames destroyed the physical memories of more than 100 years of worship.

But, Pastor Gary Ganger, of the United Methodist Church in Syracuse, said the church building is only a small piece of the whole puzzle.

"I told [the congregation] we've only lost sticks and stones," Ganger said, "we didn't lose the church. We are the church."

Ganger said the congregation is now in the early stages of the healing process, which is why they called a meeting at The Green Room is Syracuse Wednesday.

The plan was to have a service and talk about the church's future.

"There's a lot of tears for the losses," Ganger said.

"We didn't get to say good bye to the building, so, that's what we're going to do tonight."

10/11 respected the congregation's request to have not have cameras record the service.

The members say it's a very emotional time for everyone.

The church said they'll figure out their future over the coming weeks. For now, services will be held in The Green Room on Sundays, and Sunday School will be held at the library.

For now, they're moving on and mending wounds with the help of the community.

"We are in a community that the whole world would hope to have around them," Ganger said.

"The response, support, love, what can we do to help, they're standing in line to come help us. And that is overwhelming."

Ganger said they see about 85 members at service on any given Sunday.


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