Pastor gives back to family through free funeral

June 18, 2015

Church: Adrian UMC

District: Southern Prairie

Submitted by: Rev. Kristi Franken

Rev. Kristi Franken of Adrian United Methodist Church immediately knew what she had to do when she heard that her son-in-law's father had passed away with no funding available for a funeral. Franken had been attending Annual Conference Session when she heard about the death.

She made her way to Hankinson, North Dakota, for the funeral on May 30. Her daughter, Carissa Spaar, had been preparing the lunch at the church when she asked her mother, "mom, I am family, I should not have to be providing the lunch." Franken responded with, "This is why it is important to have a community of faith around you."

Franken gave her daughter some money to help off-set the cost of the lunch, and she also provided the family with a touching funeral service for her son-in-law Jason Spaar's father, Jerry Spaar.

"As hard as this funeral was going to be, I was not going to let the miles, the overnight stay, and the personal cost deter me from the call as a pastor to serve the dying," said Franken. "It was one small gift I could give that would keep on giving."

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

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(612) 870-0058