The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Summertime Jesus

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible (Hebrews 11:1-3).

Last summer, Geneva [Ill.] Lutheran Church’s summer theme was “Making Faith Visible,” based on Hebrews 11:1-3. “It seems that the writer of Hebrews is talking about not seeing faith, but turns it around in verse 3 — what is seen is made from things that are not visible,” said its pastor, Trudy Stoffel (pastortrudy@sbcglobal.net).

The congregation committed to making their faith visible and did something to help remember that wherever they go — even on summer vacation — Jesus goes with them. Preschool and elementary students colored Jesus artwork; copies were made and laminated. Members then took photos of Jesus in various places, which the church posted each week. 

“Children would come to see their pictures and where others had gone with Jesus,” Stoffel explained, adding that the experience was a great conversation starter. “People were curious about what we were doing and would ask. That was pretty amazing.”

So where did Jesus spend the summer?

“Some people enjoyed having Jesus riding with them in their car,” Stoffel said. “Others had Jesus in their bags — ready to snap a picture doing ordinary things.”

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February issue


Embracing diversity