The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Like trees planted by the water

Grandmas thirst for and receive support from a Chicago congregation

It's been a long day on Chicago's West Side. This morning Grandma Clara Kirkendall put Joshua, 6, on the bus for the local public school, where he receives special services for his autism. The former teacher then walked Zackary, 11, Seaniqua, 10, and Thomas, 4, to Bethel (Lutheran) Christian School. And she spent the morning volunteering there, transitioning to lunch lady a little before noon

But this Wednesday after lunch, the woman affectionately known as "Ms. K" throws on her coat and hurries next door to Bethel Lutheran Church. She wouldn't miss her grandmothers' group for anything. In fact, she never has.

Downstairs in the church basement, eight grandmothers gather around a table and snacks. They come here two Wednesdays a month, thirsty for support and encouragement in parenting their grandchildren.

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February issue


Embracing diversity