The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Community News Scan

• The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod's loss is the world's gain. Volunteers from Hope Lutheran Church, Cherryville, and Zion Lutheran Church, Old Zionsville, Pa., competed in a weight loss contest during Lent. Sponsors pledged money for each pound the dieters lost, and the money was given to the World Hunger Appeal. Hope lost 419 pounds and earned $500. Zion lost 136 pounds and earned $800. The local Aid Association for Lutherans branch provided partial matching funds.

• Variety is the spice of life in the Medina, Ohio, area where St. Matthew, Living Word and Zion Lutheran joined forces to create a brochure highlighting each church's distinct qualities and worship times. The brochures were hand-delivered to homes in several neighborhoods.

• St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Cranfills Gap, Texas, invited the entire town to a Passover Seder meal. A Reform Jewish rabbi led 120 people through the ceremony.

• Children at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Evansville, Ind., took stock of their homes' possessions and shared some of their gifts with those not as fortunate. Household items were issued a value, from a penny to a quarter, and the children were asked to set aside the specified amount for each item. More than $100 was collected for Bread for the World.

• "Just Installed" were the words inscribed in shaving cream on the rear car window of Liz and John Backus, recently called as pastors to St. James Lutheran Church, Kansas City, Mo. The youthful pranksters proudly claimed credit for their artistry.

• When it comes to reaching out to the community, Redeemer Lutheran Churchdoesn't clown around. The White Bear Lake, Minn., congregation held a three-day Redeemerfest which included a garage sale, carnival and clown that raised more than $5,000. More than half of the attendees were area residents but not members of Redeemer.

• One bad apple may spoil the bunch, but at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Ravenswood, W.Va., it made the collection plate a little sweeter. A church member found a bag of rotten apples in the church flower bed. When she picked it up, the apples fell out--along with two $5 bills. She added her $10 find to the offering plate.

• The Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry, an association of 48 Lutheran congregations in the Kansas City, Mo., area, recently opened an expanded drop-in center for the homeless. The center's staff, assisted by several government agencies, will assist the homeless with jobs, housing, legal advice, health care and substance abuse counseling.

• Reformation Lutheran Church, Rochester, N.Y., spent a Sunday school hour learning about its history of ministries to the community and beyond. The day was captured on video and a banner was made with autographed handprints to remind participants that they had a hand in Reformation's ministry. The video and banner were put in a "time capsule" buried behind the altar.

• "Care Bears," an ongoing project at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Irving, Texas, donated 333 stuffed animals for children at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

• A Swedish bell tower, similar to one at Sweden's Uppsala University, was constructed for Bethel Lutheran Church, Kiron, Iowa. The bell tower, replacing one that was destroyed by lightning in 1961, is dedicated to all Swedish immigrants who founded the community.

• Sunday school students at St. John Lutheran Church, Mendota, Ill., now have their own prayer partner. Adult volunteers remember the children with daily prayers, as well as birthday and holiday cards. The children also pray for their partners.

• When Eddie, a basketball movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, was filmed in Charlotte, N.C., members of Redeemer Lutheran Church got a chance to be extras by joining the crowd scenes during the games.


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