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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Move over, Barnes & Noble

It's not unusual for large congregations to house their own bookstore nowadays, but some might say Alleluia Lutheran, a mission congregation in St. Michael, Minn., is putting the cart before the horse.

Selling everything from Martin Luther's works to music and children's books, Alleluia launched a Christian bookstore — before incorporating or finding its own building. The congregation got a loan from its mission partner, Calvary Lutheran Church, Golden Valley, Minn., and recruited a dedicated corps of volunteers.

Located in a popular mall in their town, the bookstore is open Tuesday through Saturday. It receives foot traffic from not only shoppers but parents with children at the day-care center across the street, says C. Jake Dyrhaug, Alleluia's pastor. "It gives us a sense of mission because we're providing a place where people can get books or music to nurture their spiritual life," he said. "People see [the store] and know we're for real."


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