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Bingo, beer, boisterous polka music...

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Keep this under your hat.

The folks at Perham's St. Paul's Lutheran Church are taking a walk on the wild side.

Bingo?

Raffle drawings??

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Boisterous polka music???

Serving beer????

Good heavens.

This isn't your stern, stoic German grandmother's church. At least, not on Sept. 12.

With its conservative German roots, celebrating Deutsch heritage is only natural for a Missouri Synod Lutheran church like St. Paul's. The "German Festival" is Sept. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m.--complete with a "Kraut" dinner.

But the raffles, the Bingo, the German music and the beer...well...that resembles those "other" German brethren in the East Otter Tail neighborhood--with their polka masses and Bingo marathons.

"We like to live on the edge every once in a while," laughed church front office staffer Donna Ebeling. "And so does pastor (Rev. Carl Noble)."

Fred Lehmkuhl is the guy who may catch the most heat, if this German free-for-all gets back to the Missouri Synod elders.

"This is the first year we're trying this German Festival, so we thought we'd do it big," said Lehmkuhl, who sits in the hot seat as St. Paul's Church Council president.

The sacred hasn't completely been nudged aside by the secular. There will be worship, too. That's at 5 p.m. And it will be abbreviated.

Interestingly, Pastor Carl is planning a concise, 30-minute service--until 5:30 p.m. Evidently, he suspects the congregation will be fidgety. How much of an attention span can the good minister possibly expect from his flock--with the aroma of sauerkraut and bratwurst floating about the church?

Bingo starts at 7 p.m.

Raffle drawing at 8 p.m.

German music and beer served up the entire time.

Good heavens...

For the sake of the church council, keep this "off the record." The less the Missouri Synod authorities know about the German Festival--the better. What happens at Perham's St. Paul's Lutheran-- on Sept.12--stays at St. Paul's.

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