The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



• Lutherans in Seattle mourn the loss of Shawn “Bergie” and Dinah Bergstrom, who died in a car accident Aug. 8. Shawn Bergstrom, 34, had been director of Lutheran Youth of North Seattle since 1998. He expanded LYONS from three churches to 10 congregations and 200 youth, capturing their enthusiasm for service and earning their love and respect. Dinah Bergstrom, 28, often accompanied her husband in his work, leading retreats and playing the piano for youth productions.

California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, recently received $5 million—the largest gift in its history­—from Jack Gilbert, chairman of the board of TOLD Corp. Gilbert, a former member of the CLU board of regents, and his wife, Carol, previously gave more than $4 million during a capital campaign for the 96,000-square-foot Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center currently under construction. This latest gift will be used to build the president’s residence and other campus enhancements. The remainder of the Gilbert gift and other donations will go toward scholarships, professorships and programs.

• In June, 13 couples returned to Central Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska, where they had been members of the Young Adult Fellowship 50 years ago. Young and on their own, they had filled in as family for each other. This was their 11th reunion. But this time they celebrated the golden wedding anniversaries of five of the couples who had been married at Central in 1955. All but four of the couples eventually returned to the “lower 48,” but they keep touch. “The women started a round-robin letter that is still going,” says Almira Myhre of Hales Corners, Wis. And then there are the reunions. These have taken on a format that reflects the couples’ faith. One couple hosts the event over a weekend, which includes Bible study and worship at the hosts’ church.

• Delegates to the Lutheran Men in Mission assembly approved a three-year plan that will culminate in the organization’s financial independence. “Beginning next year we will not receive the program support. The following year we will not receive support for the secretary’s salary. The third year we will not receive any support. We will be financially independent. We’ll pay our own way and hopefully be able to one day give back to the church financially,” said Heber Rast, Cameron, S.C., LMM president.

Edina [Minn.] Community Lutheran Church filed a lawsuit opposing a state gun law, claiming it violates religious freedom. The 2005 law allows people at least 21 years old with a clean record, no mental illness and proper training to get a permit to carry a gun. Guns would be allowed on church property unless signs are posted or people are told not to bring them. Edina Community seeks an injunction to free religious institutions from having to abide by the law.


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February issue


Embracing diversity