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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Cards of encouragement

Pa. youth reach out to others after Sept. 11

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, youth at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Johnstown, Pa., reached out with words of encouragement and developed a special relationship with people in New York.

The congregation sent socks, T-shirts and other items requested for the rescue workers. They also collected money to send to the victims' families. But they wanted to do more.

Then they learned of the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged in Bronx, N.Y. Many residents have lived through some life-altering events — including the Holocaust, World War II and more. Sept. 11 added to the list.

St. Paul knew what it could do. Its Sunday school got to work and mailed more than 40 cards and well-wishes to the home's residents and staff who needed words of encouragement. One message says: "Thinking of you. In this time of sadness, you are not alone. God bless you."

One resident was so grateful that he framed his card and hung it on his wall. Now he shares this message with people who enter his room.

The residents were so pleased they wanted to return the kind gesture. They sent Teddy bears decorated with patriotic flags, an angel doll, holiday artwork and well-wishes to the children at St. Paul.


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