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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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April 2001 Churchscan

  • • The ELCA's full communion agreement with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was groundbreaking in 1997. It took on literal meaning when ground was broken in January for a McCormick administrative building on the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago campus. LSTC and neighboring McCormick Theological Seminary (PCUSA) have a history of collaboration: McCormick has rented classroom space from LSTC, and the two schools have combined library holdings and an information technology team. They will also share a parking facility.

  • "I know that my redeemer liveth" is a proclamation announced in the Smokey Valley of Kansas since 1881. When the 300-member chorus and orchestra at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan., usher in Holy Week this year, it will be quite an anniversary. For 120 years, the Bethany Oratorio Society has sung Handel's Messiah, making it the oldest, most continuous performing oratorio in the country. Their rendition of the Messiah has gained national recognition, partly because of its mix of participants: students and faculty, farmers and homemakers, teachers and high school students. In this area it's not unusual to hear farmers rehearse their passages while tending livestock or doctors practicing as they make their rounds, says Jud Barclay, the school's special events director. The Messiah Festival of Music and Arts now encompasses all of Holy Week.

  • Paul Manz, the dean of Lutheran church organists, will be featured during the week of April 2 on National Public Radio's Pipedreams program. For years Manz was organist at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, as well as Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Luke, Chicago, and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is now retired and living in St. Paul, Minn. For more information on "A Portrait of Paul Manz" visit www.pipedreams.org.

  • ELCA congregations were among the 11,000 churches in the United States and Canada that raised more than $3.5 million in the "Souper Bowl of Caring" effort to fight hunger on Super Bowl Sunday. About 30 Nebraska Synod congregations collected more than $7,000 for local ministries and another $1,600 for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.

  • As members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Lebanon, Ind., gather for Lenten services this year with their Roman Catholic and Episcopal neighbors they're joining for more than worship. They're exploring how they can do ministry together. During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, parishioners began the discussions that are the basis for Lenten worship this year. Those services, in turn, will be the basis for a joint meeting of the three congregational councils/administrative boards. Steve Ramsey, pastor of Trinity, says, "The significance of this lies in our moving beyond 'gee whiz, isn't it neat that we can pray together' to the point where we are all three actively pursuing previously impossible missions and ministries together. We're more than guests in each other's buildings, we're partners."

  • Members of American Lutheran, Turner, Mont., will celebrate Christ's resurrection on Easter, but their church building's resurrection next Christmas. Last Christmas Eve a fire destroyed their church. Scott Hedegaard, pastor, said of the tragedy: "It's a deep blow to a community which, like so many others, is profoundly affected by the rural crisis and finds refuge and strength in a church." The congregation recently voted unanimously to rebuild. Although insurance covers the rebuilding, they found they were underinsured for contents. But, Hedegaard says, "God has blessed us with a marvelous outpouring of support from across the country. We hope to begin construction in the spring and celebrate Christmas Eve in our new church home."

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    November issue

    NOVEMBER issue:

    The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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