The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


November 1999 Churchscan

  • Miracles happen all the time, but a congregation in Florida had snow for its Winterfest last December. With the help of a local ice company, Joyful Servants Lutheran Church, Tampa, created 10 tons of snow for the festival, which included a petting zoo, games, food and fun. The 2-year-old congregation also raised $1,625 to help victims of Hurricane Mitch. 
  • Inspired by an article in the January 1998 issue of The Lutheran about making stained-glass windows, Salem Lutheran Church, Mount Vernon, Wash., launched a project — and got a write-up of its own. Gerald Erichsen, religion editor of the Skagit Valley Herald, wrote about Salem's 10-foot-tall window, designed by a member of Fir-Conway Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon.

  • With farming in a crisis, this year's "Tractor Day" at Zion and New Hope Lutheran churches, Adamsville, Ohio, took on new significance. On that day, 28 tractors paraded to New Hope (the larger of the two-point parish) for combined Sunday services. Worshipers wore green ribbons in support of farmers. In her sermon, Janet Hatch, pastor of the churches, said everyone should be grateful for farmers.

  • Brides and grooms who got hitched this summer at Good Shepherd Lutheran, Alexandria, Va., weren't about to let barbed-wire fences, construction equipment and sloppy piles of building materials around the church spoil their big day. The building looked unsightly during a renovation project, but couples found ways to make the best of it. Some donned hard-hats for a joke wedding photo. Others attached white bridal ribbons to the chain-link fence outside.

  • St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Phoenixville, Pa., has been working on a number of ventures with B'nai Jacob Synagogue, whose rabbi, David Mayer, is a friend of St. John's pastor, Cynthia Krommes. Mayer gave St. John's youth a guided tour of the synagogue and the two congregations held Bible study of the Psalms over the summer.

  • Last winter youth at American Lutheran Church, Gaylord, Minn., set up tents and held the usual Bible camp activities: Campfire songs led by guitar, stories, readings and crafts. But the youth weren't braving the harsh Minnesota winter. They did it all inside the church.

  • When Zoar Lutheran Church, Canby, Ore., held a pie sale to raise money for local people in crisis, auctioneer Bob Boonstra decided to ensure there was fun in the fund-raising. The church's Aid Association for Lutherans branch auctioned more than 30 pies, raising (with AAL matched funds) $1,606. When his own pie came on the block, Boonstra offered to "wear" it if the price was right. The successful bidder decided $25 was its "face value."

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