The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 1998 Churchscan

  • The third-annual National Lutheran Softball Championships take place Sept. 5 and 6 in Dayton, Ohio. Host church Peace Lutheran began the games in 1996 to promote Lutheran fellowship and raise money for Lutheran causes. The tournament fields three divisions: Men's Competitive, Men's Recreational and Coed/Fellowship. For details call Terry Folino at (937) 429-1046; email plcball@aol.com.

  • Because it provides space for community programs, Grace Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn, Ill., received one of six 1998 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Faith In Community Awards, which carry a prize of $750. Grace "exemplifies the day-in, day-out contribution that congregations make to the health and well-being of their communities," said Holly Fiala, executive director of Inspired Partnerships, sponsors of the award. Inspired Partnerships is a nonprofit organization that helps congregations care for and use older houses of worship for community service.

  • St. John Lutheran Church, Sacramento, Calif., turned the fashion clock back 35 years to mark its library's anniversary. Women of the church scoured their closets, attic trunks and basement boxes for clothes vintage 1963 (or thereabouts), the year the library opened. On celebration day, teenage girls of the congregation and their friends modeled the clothes.

  • Concordat or no, Spanish Trail Lutheran and St. Matthew Episcopal churches, both in Tucson, Ariz., teamed up to host four forums on the topic "Healthy Children/Healthy Future-Christians Looking at Social Issues." The programs, open to area congregations, featured 20 speakers. Bishop Howard Wennes of the Grand Canyon Synod and Bishop Robert Shahan of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona participated.

  • The Christian Action Women of Zion Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, received a surprise compliment for the group's longstanding work of creating lap robes and other articles to give to those who can use them, such as veterans hospital patients. After hearing about the group's work, Calvary, a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod church in Murrysville, Pa., was so impressed it gave Zion two sewing machines.

  • A school cafeteria has been the only home a young congregation, Christ the King Lutheran, Bentonville, Ark., has ever known. But now it is $25,000 closer to its own building, thanks to Lutheran neighbors. Dorothy and Earl Shepherd, retired Wal-Mart employees who attend Unity Lutheran Church, Bella Vista, Ark., donated $25,000 in Wal-Mart stock to help the church. Christ the King, which was chartered in 1996 and welcomed into the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod last year, plans to sell the stock. "We were pleased to be able to give it to a church that will be able to do something with it," Dorothy Shepherd said.

  • Youth of Trinity Lutheran Church, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, got a taste of hunger themselves when they raised money to feed the needy. In their "World Vision 30-Hour Famine," youth solicited pledges from family and friends, and then abstained from food for 30 hours. While fasting, the youth gathered for community service projects. Then they all ate dinner.

  • Making a joyful noise to the Lord-and making it available for everybody to hear-was the idea St. John Lutheran Church, Dickinson, N.D., embraced in creating its compact disk When in Our Music God is Glorified. The digitally recorded work contains 18 selections of sacred music performed by the senior choir, handbell choir and organist, with help from a few outside musicians.

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