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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Ready for new Lutherans

In Washington, pastors urge believers out of homes and into two new churches

Zheng Zihao, raised in China and on his own in Washington for just a month, came to be baptized. Physical therapist May Tee, another new arrival to the U.S., came because she didn't know a soul. Ruth Liu sought prayer support for her son battling depression.

Welcoming them were Mike and Rowena Wang, an energetic and charismatic clergy couple who have started two Chinese Lutheran worshiping communities in the 32-mile stretch between Seattle and Tacoma where there was none.

"God's dream, not my dream," Rowena Wang said following Sunday afternoon worship at Federal Way Chinese Fellowship, where she is pastor and her husband assists. Since 2010, the Tacoma-area fellowship has been a "synodically authorized worshiping community" of the Southwestern Washington Synod, serving a dozen worshipers of Chinese heritage. They meet at Calvary Lutheran Church.

Hours before, the couple had led worship for two dozen in Renton, Wash., near Seattle, at Grace Chinese Lutheran Church of South King County. There, he is pastor and she assists. The congregation meets at St. Matthew Lutheran Church and has been a synodically authorized worshiping community of the Northwest Washington Synod since 2007.

<BR><BR>Mike Wang (left) baptizes Zheng
Mike Wang (left) baptizes Zheng Zihao in Lake Washington. Zheng became a member of one of two Chinese-Lutheran worshiping groups in the state of Washington begun by Wang and his wife, Rowena Wang, also a pastor.

Both services are conducted in a mix of Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

On a summer Sunday, the Grace congregation was especially excited. Zihao, 17, was to be baptized by immersion in nearby Lake Washington.


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