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Area churches take next step to run care network in northeast Otter Tail County

Those involved with Love INC gathered at Crosspoint Alliance Church on Saturday, Jan. 14 to discuss what's to come in the area thanks to the organization.

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The Northeast Otter Tail County Love INC board stands together: (from left) Maria Soto, Lisa Peterson, Tracy Bieger, Michael Bochman, Denise Kane, Mari Elliot and Butch Burns.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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PERHAM — A connection point between church and their community is one step closer to being a part of the northeast Otter Tail County community. Those involved with this new chapter of Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ) gathered at Crosspoint Alliance Church on Saturday, Jan. 14 to discuss what's to come in the area thanks to the organization.

Love INC serves as a connection point between area churches' services and people in need, making all these available services a single phone call away . The creation of the Northeast Otter Tail County Chapter of Love INC has been in the works for several years , and now that they have a board of directors, they're ready to take the next few steps to get up and running.

The board includes many names that may sound familiar to those in the Perham community: Maria Soto, Lisa Peterson, Tracy Bieger, Michael Bochman, Denise Kane, Mari Elliot and Butch Burns. Now that the board is officially formed, their responsibilities will include bylaws, policies and fundraising. Down the line, the board will hire a director.

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Michael Bochman explains Love INC's mission to those attending the Saturday, Jan. 14 event at Crosspoint Alliance Church.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

"I'm excited to see what this is going to do to transform lives and just make us a healthier community," said Michael Bochman, board president and pastor at Crosspoint Alliance Church. "I encourage people to pay attention to what's going on. We're looking for people to pray for the ministry. At some point, we will be looking for resources, whether God's leading someone to give financially or to volunteer. Just pay attention, and get involved when things happen."

Though the board hopes to get the Northeast Otter Tail County Chapter of Love INC running in 2023, this can't happen until they have all the needed finances and resources. Once these are acquired, those working with Love INC will be able to answer phone calls from people in need and connect them with available services from area churches.

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While the board will be quickly working to establish a Facebook page and easy steps to volunteer and donate soon, there are still ways community members can contribute right now: pray for the ministry, email loveincneottertail@gmail.com or donate to a partner church with Love INC in the memo.

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Jennifer Lund answers questions about Love INC to curious community members on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Crosspoint Alliance Church.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

"There's a passion in the (northeast Otter Tail County) church community. They've always wanted to help, but they just found a model for doing it — to help them in an effective way," said Jennifer Lund, the developing new affiliates specialist from Love INC, who traveled all the way from Wisconsin to attend the Jan. 14 event. "They really love their community and their neighbors, and so I'm really excited to see this get off the ground because they've done a lot of hard work to get to this point. They're really excited to be able to kind of reach people in an easy way."

More updates are to come. For more information on Love INC, go to www.loveinc.org . To get in touch with the Northeast Otter Tail County Love INC board, email loveincneottertail@gmail.com.

"It's exciting," Lund said. Reflecting on what it was like to watch the chapter form, he said, "It's really neat to see something come from something that doesn't exist at all to a vision to a reality. Getting to watch them just grow as a group and grow into seeing what God has for them here — I think that's really exciting."

Elizabeth (she/her), 23, graduated with a degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Stout in 2020. Elizabeth has always had a passion for telling stories about people and specializes in community features, which she uses for her Perham-centered content.
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