• Rich Zawistoski, pastor of the Lutheran Campus Ministry at Indiana University, Bloomington, led a campus-community healing service after a white supremacist killed Won Joon Yoon, a 26-year-old graduate student from Korea. The slaying came during Benjamin Smith's three-day shooting rampage July Fourth weekend in Illinois and Indiana. In addition to Yoon, he killed Ricky Byrdsong, an African American in Skokie, Ill., and wounded nine other blacks, Jews and Asians. Smith killed himself when police cornered him.
• Immanuel Lutheran Church, Manchester, Md., opened its heart — and building — when neighboring St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic found itself in a jam. The Catholic church seats about 200, yet many more were expected to attend first communion services for a 38-member class. "Hospitality is one of the spiritual gifts," said Matthew Schenning, pastor of Immanuel. "We are glad we could accommodate them."
• Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, bishop of the South Dakota Synod, was on hand at a service of closing for St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Spencer, S.D. A tornado destroyed the church — and much of the small town — last year. The church decided not to rebuild but to continue the congregation's mission through an endowment fund.
• International scholars will gather in Houston to celebrate the new translation of The Book of Concord, 16th-century Lutheran confessional documents. Joining American scholars at the Melanchthon Institute's symposium Sept. 17-19 will be Leif Grane of the University of Copenhagen and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The institute, named for Lutheran reformer Philipp Melanchthon, was founded by Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston.
• To prepare for confirmation, this year's class at St. James Lutheran Church, Bettendorf, Iowa, did more than study Lutheran heritage. They raised $676 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal through a Mardi Gras pancake supper and basketball "Shoot-a-thon." Aid Association for Lutherans provided matching funds.
• Boy Scout Troop 567, sponsored by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Monroe, Mich., collected soft-drink cans, performed odd jobs, cleaned litter and garbage from a field, solicited contributions and donated their allowance to help victims of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras. They gave a check for $830 to Mission Caribe.
• St. Peter Lutheran Church, Norwalk, Ohio, hosted a Bible Bowl competition featuring four youth groups, including its own. After 14 rounds of questions, Trinity Lutheran Church, Monroeville, emerged as champs. Other groups were from St. Paul Lutheran, Clyde, and Trinity Lutheran, Willard.
• Lutherans in San Bruno, Calif., worshiped with a wide spectrum of Protestants at a special service on the theme, "The Cross — A Place of Contrasts," hosted at First Baptist of San Bruno. Ginger Georgulas, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church, San Bruno, participated along with pastors from Bethany Presbyterian, Church of God of San Bruno, Church of the Nazarene, First Baptist, Crossroads Christian Center, Genesis Worship Center and San Bruno United Methodist.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers