* Glenwood Lutheran Church, Toledo, Ohio, held its third annual Soup-er Sensational Sunday Celebration where members are invited to participate in a soup cook-off. Judges chose the best soup-makers, and 50 participants sold quarts of their creations to raise $550 for the congregation.
* St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Vancouver, Wash., is searching for its past. Three years ago the church and its records were destroyed by fire. St. Andrew is asking people who were baptized, confirmed, married or held funerals at the church from 1972 to 1996 to contact the congregation. Call (360) 892-7160, E-mail GXQC01A@prodigy.com or write 5607 NE Gher Rd., Vancouver, WA, 98662.
* It pays to scare at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church., Dumont, N.J. The congregation sponsors an annual haunted house at Halloween. Members, local youth groups and Scout troops are assigned different rooms in the church to decorate according to a theme. Paid tours are held and the money, along with food donations, is given to charity. Last year more than 1,500 people attended and almost $6,000 was raised with a matching fund from Lutheran Brotherhood.
* The ringing never stopped at Bethel Lutheran, Toledo, Ohio, as the church's Rainbow Ringers hand bell choir staged a 12-hour ring-a-thon. The money raised will be used to buy music and help defray expenses to attend a national hand bell conference.
* The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Richmond, Va., on behalf of two Baptist churches over the city's regulation of feeding sites for the poor. A similar suit was filed last fall by an ecumenical group of churches, including First English Lutheran. The suit is the latest development in the fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the Religious Freedom Act, which barred government from restricting religious practices unless it had a compelling reason. At issue is a city zoning ordinance that says food programs can be held in residential areas no more than seven times a year for a maximum of 30 people. To serve more people more frequently, churches must pay $1,000 for a hearing to get a conditional use permit.
* Christ Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, found a solution to the "what do I do with this old family Bible?" question. The congregation holds an All Saints' Day cemetery service where the pastors remember those who have died during the year, followed by the wrapping and burying of Bibles that individuals wish to have reverently disposed.
* Wonder what to do with household items you no longer use? At Grace Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., members participate in the "Grace Give-Away." All unused items are placed in the church fellowship hall for a week and anyone is allowed to help themselves. Leftover items are donated to a local women's shelter.
* Rock `n' roll is here to stay at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Renton, Wash. Since 1995 the church has held a Saturday Night Celebration Service to attract the unchurched in their 30s and 40s. The service is led by the Amazing Grace Band playing '60s and '70s rock music-with a "praise" twist added. The community responded, and the service now averages 100 people.
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