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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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September scavengers

Michigan church collects food each fall

Last September, 29 members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Portage, Mich., went throughout their neighborhood in pouring rain gathering items for a food pantry. Despite the weather, they collected 1,000 pounds in their little red wagons. Joan M. Herbon, pastor, hopes when they do the same thing the Saturday after Labor Day 2011 (Sept. 10), it will be their best year yet.

Their "Scavenger Hunt for Food: Food from our Neighbors, for our Neighbors" is in its fourth year. Teams go out with a list of needed food items. Each item has a value assigned to it: canned vegetables, 1 point; hearty soups, 5 points; peanut butter or canned meat, 10 points; roll of toilet paper, 6 points.

After members of Lord of Life Lutheran
After members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Portage, Mich., gather food from the neighborhood, the children — like Jessie Wile (left), Cora Mitchell, Michele LeRud, Ian Freshwater and Jake Wile — compete to spell out the church's name using the food. "We wear our LOL T-shirts on the scavenger hunt," said Joan Herbon, pastor. "LOL: Lord Of Life, Laugh Out Loud, Labor Of Love, Lutherans On the Loose!"

Later they gather back at the church, where points from each team are added up. Members of the winning team get their names on a little red wagon, which serves as a sort of "traveling trophy."

Prior to the scavenger hunt, the church distributes fliers throughout the neighborhood so people are ready with items and are more willing to open their doors to the visitors. Herbon's confidence for this year is buoyed because the church's new Boy Scout troop is helping distribute the fliers and gather food.


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