The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


The mall next door

Development gives a struggling church opportunity for preaching, ministry and growth

The crimson billboard greets thousands of Rhode Island commuters with Providence Place shopping mall's motto: "Dedicated to the pursuit of material acquisition."

"I really find it offensive," says David Buehler, pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Providence. The consumeristic credo may cause many a thrifty Lutheran to wince, but it strikes Buehler closer to home than most.

The mall has been a headache — especially during two years of construction — but it may prove a godsend for the struggling parish. The mall gives the church high visibility and opportunities for outreach and mission.

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December issue


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