• Six buildings at Dana College, Blair, Neb., sustained more than $1 million in damage when May storms produced hail, tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest. Baseball-sized hail fell on Dana's commencement day, but there were no injuries. Several Iowa communities were covered with water and high school graduations were postponed. Lutheran Disaster Response was assessing damage and determining responses.
• Pamela Jolicoeur is the new president of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., effective July. She has served as provost and dean of the faculty at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, since 1996, and has been on the faculty since 1972. Jolicoeur is Concordia’s 10th president and the first female to hold the post.
• Anita Gardner’s unlawful termination suit against the Southern Ohio Synod and its bishop, Callon Holloway, was settled for an undisclosed amount in December (March 2003, page 52). Gardner, the receptionist, had sought more than $25,000. In a statement, the synod council said there was no wrongdoing but “decided that a financial settlement was in the best interest of the synod.” Margaret Messick, a bishop’s assistant, who had resigned in 2002, also sued the synod, and a settlement was reached last year. On a related issue, the synod council’s statement said an extensive investigation found “no misappropriation of funds, no illegal or unethical activity and no wrongdoing by the bishop or current staff.”
•Several members and the pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Olin, Iowa, decided they wanted to lose weight, so last fall they started “The Losers.” The group also wanted to fill the local pantry for the winter, so they found sponsors for each of the 115 pounds they lost. The group weighed in on the co-op scale and presented a check to the pantry earlier this year.
• A baptism at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Bath (Emanuelsville), Pa., attracted a CBS news crew in May. Triplets Corey, Evan and Joshua, born last August to Stephanie and Elias Makhoul, were baptized. A few weeks after their birth, their father, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, went to Iraq as a contract translator for the Defense Department. In his absence, parishioners helped his wife with the babies and with meals and household help.
• Two Pennsylvania churches were the sites of funeral services for family members killed in early May. Hollie Mae Gable shot her three children, Kelsey, 13, Jared, 18, and Kirstin, 16; her boyfriend, Kenneth Cragle; and herself. In the wake of the killings, Gable was remembered as both a devoted mother and a troubled woman. About 45 people attended her service, conducted by Pastor Robert Hoenich at Christ United Lutheran Church, Ashland — in contrast to the more than 500 who said goodbye the day before to her children at Trinity Lutheran Church, Valley View, where Pastor Carl Shankweiler officiated. Kirsten was part of Trinity's confirmation program; Kelsey attended its after-school program.
• Thrivent Financial for Lutherans awarded a one-time $150,000 grant to five ELCA colleges to help facilitate the establishment of an endowment for the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum (April 2004, page 33). The five colleges that sponsor the forum are Augsburg, Minneapolis; Augustana, Sioux Falls, S.D., Concordia, Moorhead, Minn.; Luther, Decorah, Iowa; and St. Olaf, Northfield, Minn.
• Seven Lutheran ministry organizations benefited from $271,000 from two endowments housed in the ELCA Foundation (Lutheran Services for the Elderly and Lutheran Services for Children). They are Bethel New Life, Chicago; Christ the King Lutheran Church, Miami; Liberty Lutheran Services, Philadelphia; Lutheran Home of Southbury, Mass.; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Mankato; LSS of Northwest Ohio, Toledo; and Lutheran Health Ministries of the Foothills, Glendale, Calif.
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