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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'You're a Lutheran now'

Though walking wounded, a Mississippi congregation welcomes hurricane victims

An elderly woman sits upright in her chair and watches the Houston Astros take the lead through a snowy static of rabbit-ear reception in late October. She loves baseball and enjoys sitting in her favorite spot, taking in a little television. Relaxing is getting easier in her golden years, but she misses home.

A few other Hurricane Katrina survivors sit with her in the converted parish hall at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Ocean Springs, Miss. Resting her arm on a white plastic banquet table, she moves her head to try and make the glare of the fluorescent overhead lights go away. She’s been living in the church since the beginning of September, when she walked in alone a few days after Katrina destroyed her home.

The woman is among thousands helped by Christus Victor members and volunteers. Hours after Katrina’s landfall less than 100 miles away, the church was up and running as a Red Cross shelter. It didn’t take long for the congregation to get involved.


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