The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


January 1997 churchscan

First Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio, built a Habitat House, paying for the entire project to the tune of $40,000. As an example of racial harmony, Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville, Ohio, and nearby Mount Enon Baptist Church, Dayton, worked together to build a Habitat home for a local family. The home was financed entirely by the white Lutheran and African American Baptist congregations.

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, El Paso, Texas, donated two acres of undeveloped land for a local park. The nearest parks in the area are three to four miles away. The church will maintain ownership of the land, with residents and church members helping to provide playground equipment and plant trees. Grants and monetary and material donations will be sought for the project.

Glenn Zimbelman, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, Madison, Wis., decided that not all the important news was available in local newspapers. Now he publishes an ecumenical newspaper called Hope in Action, with a circulation of 8,000. The eight-page paper focuses on upcoming events of interest to local Christians. A web page includes a few articles from the paper's current issue and lists upcoming.

In Virginia, vans are the gifts that keep on giving. Christ Lutheran Church, Wheeling, W.Va., voted to use a gift from Lillian Barthel's estate to buy a new van and to give away its 1987 15-passenger vehicle. This wasn't a new idea. In 1989 when a member gave Christ the 1987 van, members gave their 1977 vehicle to the Franklin, W.Va., Lutheran Parish. The 1987 van also was donated to that parish, which then gave the gift to the Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity.

The freestanding altar at First Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, received the Design Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Architects in October. Called "Eucharistic Table," the altar was designed by William Brocious, a member of First.

St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Beaverton, Ore., gives members and visitors a copy of a self-guided tour booklet called "Artworks: Symbolism As Worship." Written by member Connie Soth, the booklet describes and explains all of the artwork at St. Matthew. Other parishioners donated their design, artistic and office skills to the project.

St. James Lutheran Church serves as the unofficial welcome wagon for Verona, Wis. New residents receive a small brown shopping bag filled with maps, information about the city and schools, coupons from local businesses and information about St. James. The city's chamber of commerce refers new residents to the program.

More than 30 members of Peace Lutheran Church, Port Clinton, Ohio, served 760 brats, 200 hot dogs, 200 breakfast bags and gallons of kraut,pop and coffee when 3,000 bi cyclists wheeled into the city. Port Clinton served as a stop ont he Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure route.

Julie Irmer, a member of Creator Lutheran Church, Clackamas, Ore., designed and created a 30-by-30 foot mural on the church's narthex wall. The mural with the cross amid creation is called "Already But Not Yet." Irmer says the mural's theme is "a pardox that permeates our theology and lives. The world ahs been created but is not yet complete. Christ has redeemed us, but we are not yet without sin."


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