Instead of being baptized during a regular service at Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington, Ill., 4-year-old Carli Leonard chose a time that would be significant to her. She was baptized during her preschool class with a special liturgy written for the occasion. Carli's classmates gave the responses during the service.
Christ Lutheran High School, Reese, Mich., won the boys' Lutheran Basketball Association of America national championship at Valparaiso, Ind., by beating St. Paul Lutheran Church, Decatur, Ill., 61-53.
Two St. Paul, Minn., churches held separate parties to demonstrate a Lutheran presence in the city. Grace Lutheran Church held "Summer Evening in the Park," while St. Timothy Lutheran Church had "Music on the Blacktop." Both events drew more than 250 people for live music, food, games and fellowship.
The steeple at Munterville Lutheran Church, Blakesburg, Iowa, took a direct hit by lightning in August. The altar was damaged and services weren't held in the building one Sunday. Insurance will cover repairs.
Eleven youth and adults from Bethel Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minn., trudged through the hot s treets of Atlanta with full-sized motorized puppets entertaining athletes and visitors during the Olympics.
Calvary Lutheran Church, Draper, Wis., hosted a combined Christian Rally, attended by several local churches of differing denominations. The day's program included music performed by children and adults, inspirational talks by pastors and evangelists, games for children and informal evangelism.
When Central States Synod Bishop Charles Maahs visited First Lutheran Church, LaCrosse, Kan., he was greeted by a newly elected, all-female church council, including a female pastor, a possible first for the ELCA.
Herb Peterson, a member of Calvary Lutheran Church, New Windsor, Ill., and keeper of the church's cemetery book, realized his dream of placing a marker commemorating the unmarked graves of children who died of cholera or smallpox. Poor immigrant families from Sweden buried their children in the cemetery betw een 1869 and 1889 as they passed through the area. Many New Windsor Lutherans are also buried in the cemetery, including five generations of Peterson's family.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers