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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Grab and go Lutheran

What was supposed to be a "grab and go" station at Squaw Creek Lutheran Church, Black River Falls, Wis., for the July Minneapolis-Chicago AIDS ride turned into much more for seven Squaw Creek women and some 1,500 bike riders.

AIDS ride organizers contacted the church to use the parking lot as a rest stop for mile 95 on Day 2. The women decided to put out baked goods, watermelon, hot dogs, an ice cream bucket for donations, and a guest book.

"I thought, 'Oh boy, this is going to be a Class A disaster,' and it turned into a marvelous experience. What a day it was," said Cal Thoreson, pastor. "One woman was going to come for only a couple of hours. She arrived at noon and was still there at 7 p.m. One rider wanted his picture taken with the woman who baked the peanut butter cookie he was eating. Another wrote in the guest book, 'I was hungry and you fed me.' "

Mary Peterson was one server. Ashley Joseph, 11, was the youngest helper. "Would our ladies do it again? Absolutely!" Thoreson said.


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