|Tea for two tots|
Mikayla DeFriece, Orttanna, Pa., and Justin Staub, New Oxford, Pa., wait as tea is poured at Learning Tree Child Care, a community outreach service of Lutheran Social Services of South Central Pennsylvania. Learning Tree teaches values, manners and lessons on friendship by having occasional tea parties. The child-care provider is located in the Gettysburg [Pa.] Lutheran Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Gettysburg Lutheran Retirement Village.
• St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Perrysville, Ohio,
which has three children among its membership and an average attendance of 37.5, hosted a free summer day camp for 21 children from a nearby subsidized apartment complex. Trained college students from Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio led the event. “The enthusiasm of the children and the quality leadership from LOMO made this week an enriching experience for the congregation and community,” says Roy Godfrey, interim pastor of St. John. “The children were begging to come back next year.”
• It was a win-win-win project at Cross of Peace Lutheran, Shakopee, Minn.,
when it raised $525 toward its church sign through a Memorial Day project. Participants donated money for nearly 80 crosses, which were decorated with a deceased person’s name, memorabilia, flowers and flags and placed on the church grounds two days before Memorial Day. Parishioner Harland Lipker came up with the idea for the project after accumulating extra wood pieces in his workplace. Instead of discarding the wood, Lipker made them into crosses, while his wife, Ruth, painted them white.
• St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Church, Palm Coast, Fla.,
recently held “Foodstock,” a Hurricane Katrina relief event that included concerts, a collection drive, blood drive and blessing of the animals. More than 250 people attended the “Legends in Concert,” which included impersonators of the Blues Brothers, Sonny and Cher, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Elvis and other performers. The day also included a performance by Christian artist Norman Lee and a collection drive for Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Ocean Springs, Miss., which has established a hurricane disaster response center through the Lutheran Disaster Response program (see page 12 for more on the hurricanes).
• Trinity Lutheran Church, Chesterfield, Mo.,
offers free “how-to” courses as a way to live out its vision, “You Matter to God: You Matter to Us.” Parishioners teach the courses, which are offered to the public in the greater St. Louis area. The courses cover a wide range of topics, including beginning guitar, needlework, understanding medical terminology, using eBay for fun and profit, creating a Web site and getting started in model railroading.
• Jordan New Life Community [Lutheran] Church, Minneapolis,
received a contract from the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities to provide services to families in North Minneapolis. The church will have a site where families will be assisted in identifying and accessing services for their children or young adults with developmental disabilities. The state actuary identified the church’s neighborhood as having a disproportionately high percentage of residents who are developmentally disabled, while remaining the most underserved area in Minneapolis.
• Peace and Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran churches, El Paso, Texas,
are among eight affiliate participants in Border Interfaith, an alliance dedicated to economic development, peace and justice in the area, with membership from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist institutions. Border Interfaith steering committee member Kathy Staudt, a political science professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, and member of Shepherd of the Valley, said the organization wants to build the city’s capacity for public dialogue. “We have a shortage of this,” she says. “There aren’t enough organizations involved in public policy.” Wayne Kendrick, pastor of Peace, said, “There’s a great amount of excitement regarding the interfaith aspect. One of the things this city lacks is a place for communities of faith to come together on common concerns. Border Interfaith has made possible a whole new set of relationships that simply didn’t exist before.”
• The women of Evanger Lutheran Church, Kenmare, N.D.,
shared one of their mission days with six women from Minnehaha Communion Lutheran Church, Minneapolis,
stitching caps, receiving blankets and diapers for children in Honduras. The day was part of a “mystery trip” planned by Minnehaha member Cleo Medlock, whose brother lives in Kenmare. Other events on the “secret itinerary” included a meeting with the mayor and visits to Mouse River Park and the International Peace Gardens. While stitching, the women chatted and laughed with their new friends. Their efforts resulted in 172 caps, 57 receiving blankets and 40 diapers.
• Two ELCA congregations in Clinton, Iowa—St. Stephen
—merged to become New Hope Lutheran Church. Atonement’s property was turned into the first permanent house of worship for those of the Islamic faith in Clinton County. After holding a decommissioning service for Atonement’s property, members had a formal procession to their new home at St. Stephen to celebrate the new congregation. “I’m very excited by these changes,” said Jeanette Paulsen, past-president of Atonement. “Our congregations have stepped forth in faith and God is definitely leading us on to form a new, vitally active congregation.”