The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Volunteers take up 1,450 tasks

Checking your nametag at the door,
Checking your nametag at the door, Paula Hepola-Anderson greets you with a smile as one of many assembly volunteers. She learned to flash a great smile from working at Disney World for a couple of years before taking her current position as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Groveland, Fla.
Fred More says it wasn’t hard at all to sign up 350 volunteers from the Florida-Bahamas Synod and beyond to provide the hands and feet to help run this Churchwide Assembly. But matching them with the 1,450 tasks—from airport greeter to microphone page—well, that was a mind-boggling prospect for the member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Orlando, Fla., who with his wife, Susan, heads the local arrangements committee.

Actually that was task No. 1,451, More says, which was performed with precision by one of those volunteers, the computer-savvy Loren Mathre, a member of Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Petersburg, Fla.

A potential difficulty for the coordinators: No ELCA congregation is closer than 10 miles from the Marriott. But that was no problem due to folks like the 42 from Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Haines City, Fla., who travel 20 to 40 miles to staff the registration area. Members Ann and John Frederick are among them. “It’s just kind of exciting to stand here and see all these people coming here, greeting each other,” John says. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”


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