GREENFIELD — Marilyn Kroeger was a regular in the Tuesday morning Bible studies at Faith Lutheran Church, where she enjoyed some light-hearted banter with the Rev. Dan O’Connor. She had friends in the Mary Martha Guild and enjoyed the music, such as the playing of the bell choir.

But for the past eight months, making it to the church to enjoy those events has been hard for Kroeger.

O’Connor has made regular visits, though. His is among the many area churches who work to nurture a connection between a congregation and its members who are shut in.

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“She misses her church enormously,” said Kroeger’s daughter, Debbie Dishman. “She always enjoys his visits.”

Dishman saw O’Connor and her mom pass many a visit in the two large chairs in the living room. They would share updates on people they both knew, as each of them are from southern Indiana, and talk about events and friends from church. Eventually, though, they would share an abbreviated service together. After Kroeger transitioned to a facility in July, O’Connor’s visits to her — and to another parishioner in the same facility — have continued.

In the nearly 10 years he’s ministered in Greenfield, he’s done this time after time in homes and

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Anne Smith is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at