• David L. Tiede announced Oct. 25 that he will retire as president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., June 30, 2005. The date marks his 34th anniversary as a Luther professor of New Testament, his 18th year as president and the day following his 65th birthday. "Luther Seminary is ready to call a new leader to help fulfill its promise for the church's future," said Tiede, who added that he is looking forward to "time for renewal of my vocations," including student of the New Testament, husband and grandfather. June 30 also marks the conclusion of his current five-year term linked to the seminary's strategic plan. Luther is the largest of the ELCA's eight seminaries.
• Trinity Lutheran Church, Hildreth, Neb., hosted a "Big Fat Fall Festival" in August to create greater awareness to the call to ELCA ministry. In 2003 the festival, in its first year, raised $7,000 for seminary education. About $6,000 was raised this year to help a local seminarian.
• More than two dozen male members of Concordia Lutheran Church, China Grove, N.C., shaved their heads last summer in solidarity for Rodney Brown, 17, who was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. After he lost his hair, his Sunday school teacher, Mike Ashley, decided to shave his head so Brown wouldn't feel so alone. Others followed his lead, and at a church picnic member and barber Steve Ellsworth worked as fast as his clippers would fly. His clients ranged from 5-year-olds to retirees. All came away with much more than a "summer haircut," recorded the Salisbury [N.C.] Post.
• Luther Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ill., pulled out all the stops for its Round-up on rally day. It included a chuck wagon breakfast and tent, Western music, hats and bandanas. A cowboy hat collected the offering and was where young people placed their names--drawn by adults who would pray for them this year.
• Believing "there is enough to feed the world," Bethel Lutheran Church, Winchester, Va., hosted its third farmers' market in August. On Harvest Sunday, members and friends strolled the church's front lawn to buy vegetables, baked goods, jam, salsa, flowers and handcrafted items. The donated items were priced creatively, giving a lesson in world hunger to the buyer: a home baked pie sold for $10, the cost of planting 25 fruit trees in Kenya; several ears of corn sold for $5, enough to feed a child in drought-ravaged Malawi for a week. The ELCA World Hunger Appeal received the market's $1,300 profit.
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