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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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To serve the Lord

Youth make connections in the community

Some kids take "Go in peace, serve the Lord" to heart. Their projects take them outside the walls of their church.

For six consecutive Wednesdays in June and July, seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders in Sun Prairie, Wis., work at service sites in Dane County. "Sun Prairie Summer Stretch" is an ecumenical effort of four churches, including Our Savior Lutheran. The event allows participants to have fun, build relationships with youth from other churches and learn about serving others.

The youth meet in the morning for games, prayers and assignments. At 9 a.m. they go to local agencies, where they pack canned goods for a food bank, visit with children and elderly adults and clean the neighborhood.

In Plano, Texas, youth from Resurrection Lutheran Church have spent many spring breaks at Briarwood Lutheran Church Camp, Argyle, Texas. Instead of sleeping, watching TV or playing video games, they spend the week painting, cleaning, roofing and brick-laying to get Briarwood ready for summer camping.

At First English Lutheran Church, Tyler, Minn., youth serve by visiting. Two years ago, the third-grade class delivered "encouragement" cards to the congregation's older members, including Eleanor Schwanebeck.

Schwanebeck had lunch ready, and they had a delightful visit. When she returned to worship after recuperating from an illness, the youth had a new friend to talk with on Sunday mornings.

As fourth-graders, the class made more visits to Schwanebeck's home. And when her husband died in January, the class sent her a bouquet.

Youth from Grace Lutheran Church, Hastings, Mich., had a dog-gone good time when they visited the Barry County Humane Shelter to learn about their responsibility for all of God's creatures. The youth toured the facility and donated food, toys and other gifts they had collected for the animals.


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