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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Ribbons make difference

New York congregation sends message of welcome

Caelyn Stahl of Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran, New York City, adds a ribbon to the church's fence. At a retreat members voiced concern about the message their fence had been sending to the community.

Caelyn Stahl of Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran, "We are a place of life, welcome and joy," one said. "I don't think we appear that way to our neighbors."

A new young adult member suggested using the fence to send a welcoming message, so parishioners wrote on ribbons their answer to: "What do you want to tell the community about God?"

One passer-by told church leaders, "I never knew this church was still open. When I walked by and saw all these ribbons, I knew I had to check it out."


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