At the Hazel Run Lutheran Church, the liturgy is read every Sunday in a Scottish burr thick enough to cut with a knife. For the Rev. Owen Derrick it's a long way from Glasgow to this Minnesota town of well under a hundred people.
"When he first came here in February he said, 'You can tell I'm not from here. I'm from Wisconsin,'" said parishioner Melissa Syring.
If a Scotsman is a bit unusual in rural southwest Minnesota, still more unusual is a Scottish Lutheran pastor, from a country that is historically associated with Presbyterianism.
"There aren't many of us in Scotland," Derrick said. "I think the last one was burned at the stake in 1528."
Derrick said he encountered Lutheranism while working in Minneapolis as a computer consultant but had wanted to be a pastor as a child.
"When I was 3 years old I told my doctor I wanted to be a pastor because they only work on Sunday," Derrick said. "But when I was 16, I got rebellious. I went into the world of work and life took over. I got married, had children, and became an IT consultant."
Life took Derrick into some painful places: divorce, to America, and eventually remarriage.
"When I moved to Minneapolis I was looking for a church, and it was a Lutheran church I found and I was very thankful for it," Derrick said. "I enjoy the liturgy and theology. For the time of my life it was, I got a lot of the idea of God's grace."
After entering the ministry, Derrick had a class that sent him to rural Nebraska and inspired him to pursue a rural ministry. Derrick said he is convinced of the vitality of small-town rural America.
"Some people think towns are dying," Derrick said, "but if the church won't send people, it insures it."
Derrick's congregation of about 150 comes not only from Hazel Run, but Granite Falls, Hanley Falls, Clarkfield, Montevideo, and the countryside in between.
Derrick said he sometimes wondered what his life would have been like if he had followed his youthful bent and gone directly into the ministry.
"My conclusion was, had I become pastor after college, I'd have been a terrible pastor," Derrick said. "I had to have the university of life to prepare me for the time God said, 'Now.'"