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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Minnesota Church Says 84-Year-Old Woman Cannot be Buried Next to Husband

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Feb 03
  • Comments

An 84-year-old Minnesota woman has been told by the church she attended that she cannot be buried beside her husband.


Fox News reports that Doreen Pawelk has been a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in New Germany for more than 50 years. 


After her husband passed away last summer, Pawelk assumed that she would someday be buried next to him. 


However, the church sent a letter to Pawelk, stating that “members who have not gathered together with us in worship to receive the Lord’s Supper at least four times in one calendar year will have excluded themselves from fellowship with us.”


The church contends that there has been a misunderstanding and that the wrong type of letter was sent to Pawelk. Church leaders said that it was Pawelk who approached them about leaving the church, and that the letter was sent to confirm that church leaders had granted her request. 


Pawelk had reportedly been clashing with church members recently and was therefore told she was no longer a member in good standing. 


“As you have self-excluded, you are no longer eligible to be buried at either the St. Mark or St. John’s Crow River Cemeteries,” the letter, which Pawelk’s grandson posted online, read.


Pawelk’s relatives say they are asking church leaders to apologize. 


"It’s their church and there's no verse in the Bible that says you must have communion four times a year or you are not going to go to heaven,” said Pawelk’s daughter, Brenda.



Publication date: February 3, 2016