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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Parish Scan

Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Othello, Wash., held a tailgate party to kick off Sunday school. Members brought treats for coffee hour and served them on the tailgates of their cars while worshipers went from car to car for fellowship.

During Oct. 6 worship services, Lutheran congregations nationwide are asked t o light a candle and say a prayer for the mentally ill and their families. The first national "Candlelighting for Mental Illness Sunday" is sponsored by the Lutheran Network on Mental Illness. To help mark the day, congregations can get a packet containing a photocopy-ready bulletin insert, an information sheet on mental illnesses and sample prayers. Write to: Lutheran Network on Mental Illness, 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago IL 60631 or call (800) 638-3522, Ext. 2693.

Christ Lutheran, Wise, Va., a small congregation hit hard by the loss of many coal mining jobs, developed a tutoring program that brings new life to the community. Working with Lutheran Family Services, church members are helping elementary and high-school students with their studies, trying to lower the rate of illiteracy and dropouts.

Capitol Drive Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, provides rent-free space to the nonprofit Third World Handcraft Shoppe, run by Eunice and Jerry Koepke. In five years the business has raised $36,000 for overseas mission and aid work.

If there were a book of quilting records, the women of Grace Lutheran Church, Fairmont, Minn., would certainly be included. The church's Anna and Martha circles, comprised of about two dozen women —many nearing the century mark — have completed 5,039 quilts in the past 20 years. Not to be outdone, Helen Bergenheier, Taylor [N.D.] Lutheran Church, finished 5,000 quilts by herself in 25 years. She completed the last one before Christmas 1995 and died a few weeks later. Another busy quilter is Lynn Peterson, a member of Calvary Lutheran Churc h, Lemmon, S.D., who has made more than 7,000 quilts.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. launched a program to help community development groups find mortgages for lower-income and minority borrowers. The Washington-based, gov ernment-sponsored corporation will bring together the community and other housing-related groups, lenders, government agencies and investors to structure mortgage packages. Bethel New Life Inc., affiliated with Bethel Lutheran Church — an ELCA congregation on Chicago's West Side — is the first community group in the program. Bethel plans to build 250 houses.


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