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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Iowans trash the neighborhood

Congregation helps neighbors with spring cleaning

"How many Dumpsters should we get?" That was the main question last April when St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, approached their "Trash the Neighborhood" day.

But nobody had an answer because they had never done anything like this. The answer soon became clear — they needed more than the five they had requested.

Neighbors of St. Stephen Lutheran Church,
Neighbors of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, fill dumpsters on "Trash the Neighborhood" day.

Two Sundays prior to trashing day, the outreach team, Lutheran Youth Organization Sunday school class and others distributed fliers saying dumpsters would be available for neighbors who might be doing spring cleaning. Five dumpsters were standing by on the cool, gray morning of "Trash the Neighborhood," along with a table of goodies and coffee in St. Stephen mugs.

With the help of a few members, neighbors filled the dumpsters with trash. Ev Peterson, coordinator of the men's group and member of the outreach team, declared the effort "incredible."


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