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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Nourished, not swamped

Dennis Trout says the Reinholds, Pa., congregation he serves gets plenty of joking questions about their name: Swamp Lutheran Church.

"Especially since my own name is Trout and I live on Blue Lake Road," he wryly adds.

Swamp came attached to the church's land in 1755, when William Penn's sons deeded it to the congregation, Trout says. Swamp is either a reference to the once swampy valley in which it rests or the former name of the nearby Texter mountain range--Swamp Mountains.

"There are two ways of looking at a swamp," Trout says. "It's the place people can get stuck or it's a place of symbiotic relationships and the cradle of life. We see our church as the latter: a place of great nourishment, birth, renewal, relationship and continual growth."




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