GARDNER, N.D. — Members of one of North Dakota's oldest Lutheran congregations has been cut off from their northern Cass County church by overland flooding, forcing them to cancel services Wednesday, April 10, and for the foreseeable future.

The congregation of fewer than 50 people prays current flooding is as bad as it gets.

"I would say this Sunday is looking rough, but hopefully within a week and a half these waters will go down," said council member John Christensen.

Members say it's bad luck and bad timing with Easter Sunday just around the corner. Already, an Easter egg hunt scheduled for Saturday, April 13, has been cancelled.

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"It's tough. We've missed two of the three lent services that were supposed to be held here. One for a storm, and now one for a flooding," Christensen said.

It isn't the first time Nora Lutheran has faced this kind of problem. The church was damaged in the 1997 Red River flood.

"Since then, they've moved it up to higher ground, got rid of the basement, and then added a new addition to the south," Christensen said.

The church could be threatened if water continues to rise, but John is hopeful the church will be spared.

"I'm pretty confident the church is not in danger. It's just a bit of a hassle," said Christensen. "I feel like people are more likely to show up and bring us closer when we do meet the next time."

Christensen said Nora Lutheran is considered one of the oldest active Lutheran congregations in North Dakota and hopes no other floods will threaten its church before celebrating their 150 year anniversary in 2024.