The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A spirited kick-start to a new year

It’s amazing what Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Largo, Fla., can do in four hours.

“It’s only four hours of a Saturday in August, but for some it is their favorite day of the year,” said Joe Glymph, pastor.

On that day the church helps families in the community prepare for a new school year. Glymph said it’s “a blessing of the Spirit for those who receive and those who are serving.”

When members began the Health and Safety Fair 12 years ago, their aim was to provide free school physicals and back-to-school supplies. There were also a few displays from local service providers. In the beginning the most challenging element was finding doctors to do the physicals. “In the first year we had only one physician who did 27 physicals,” said Jane Cocoran, parish nurse. Last year eight physicians gave 112 physicals. And one or two called to ask if they could take part.

More than 1,200 attended last year’s fair, with these additional statistics painting a picture of an action-packed campus:
• 90 dental exams;
• 72 haircuts;
• 500 received school supplies, packets, backpacks, etc.;
• 2 to 3 books given to each child;
• 37 community agencies shared information;
• 3 translators were on hand for those whose primary language is not English;
• 15 people gave blood;
• 24 families were counseled by Pinellas County Schools regarding school assignments;
• 105 Prince of Peace members gave of their time.

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February issue


Embracing diversity