The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


April 1998 Churchscan

  • What might have been an Easter tragedy last year at Zion Lutheran Church, Harrison City, Pa., became an opportunity to teach about the power of the cross. The nylon line keeping a big cross suspended over the altar for 28 years snapped just minutes before worship. Luckily nobody was hurt and damage was minimal. Robert J. Marks, pastor of Zion, told the congregation they had seen a powerful symbol of the Resurrection: The cross could not be contained, and on Easter Sunday it broke free!

  • There's high-flying fun — literally — when the Prime Timers of Christ Lutheran, Fairfax, Va., spend a morning flying kites in the park with the church's preschool. The spring tradition is just one way the church encourages young and old to mix. Its parish partners program hosts events and activities that foster community among the generations.

  • In answer to pleas from adults in the congregation, Prince of Peace Lutheran, Russell Springs, Ky., developed a program to teach its youngest members the ABCs of church behavior and life. They learned the names for the articles and furnishings around the church, as well as the basics of the church calendar, following the liturgy and other topics. All with success. "For the most part, peace now reigns at Prince of Peace," council president Ronald Price writes in his report.

  • The Nia Imani Choir of Holy Angels Catholic Church in Chicago spent a busy weekend in Decorah, Iowa, under a concert exchange program with First Lutheran Church. The 33 youth performed at First, St. Benedict Catholic Church and Luther College, where they were guest singers at the service commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. In December, 21 youth of First visited Holy Angels Church in Chicago.

  • Grace Lutheran, Albert Lea, Minn., celebrated its 50th anniversary by donating $50,000-or $1,000 for every year of God's grace-to a new mission church, Living Waters Lutheran, Sauk Rapids, Minn.

  • The St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig — once directed by Johann Sebastian Bach — performed at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, on its first visit to North America in its 700-year history. Robert Moore, associate pastor and president of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association, led the effort to bring the choir to Houston.

  • Bethany Lutheran Church, Jersey City, N.J., is planning its second annual Dixieland Easter Vigil this year. Influenced by the New Orleans jazz funeral, the vigil begins in the darkened church, as a reminder of the Good Friday events, and becomes increasingly brighter as the service progresses. Last year's service raised $350 for local and world hunger.

  • For the third year now, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Oakland, Calif., is participating in the "Christmas in April" program. The national effort puts volunteers to work in service to a needy family or organization. Volunteers from St. Paul have renovated homes owned by elderly residents who have neither skills nor money to make repairs themselves, said Karin Mai, chair of the social ministry committee.

  • Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, hosted a daylong conference, "Equipping the Saints" for congregations in its area. The event featured 18 workshops on topics ranging from "The Bible for Dummies" to "Reconciling Our Faith with Gays, Lesbians and Families."

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    February issue

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    Embracing diversity