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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Summer memories

Youth dig fun, work, travel and learning during the hot months

For those of us who want to hang on to warm summer memories, here's a look back at how youth kept busy during their school break.

About 4,000 people converged in Seattle for the Western States Youth Gathering. Before the event, many youth cleaned around a retirement home and the local zoo, landscaped a park and painted homes for low-income residents.

Youth from First Lutheran, Lorain, Ohio, got a look at the church at large when they visited Chicago. First stop: Christ the King Lutheran Church in the South Loop, where they got a crash course in street evangelism. Then it was on to Bethel Lutheran/New Life, a church-based social ministry, to help with a beautification effort and an adult day-care center.

They also toured the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and the Lutheran Center.

The youth from Grace Lutheran, Woodstock, Ill., got a look at the church from the islands. At Frederick Lutheran Church, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, they removed termite-infested ceilings and chipped plaster, and cleaned rooms and the church property. Of the $20,000 they raised for their trip, they gave, $3,200 to Frederick and $1,200 to Nazareth Lutheran Church, St. John, Virgin Islands.

Luckily for the youth, it wasn't all work and no play. They shared a picnic with Frederick youth. Afternoons were for sailing, snorkeling and other activities.

It was "we all scream for ice cream" at Zion Lutheran Church, Bristol, Conn. Six youth spent a hot afternoon scooping up ice cream for residents of Sheriden Woods Health Care Center, Bristol.

Ice cream was only part of the fun at the Great Bibleland Dig of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mount Holly, N.J. Bible schoolers dug exploring stories about Jesus. They also dug into their kitchen cabinets to find food for a can pyramid. Unlike ancient pyramids, these cans won't be dug up in a thousand years. The food went to a local pantry.

That week the youth dug up fun with crafts, a puppet show and singing. But we can guess they had the most fun digging into a 10-foot sundae.


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