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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Remember 'Pay It Forward'?

Six years ago a book and movie captured attention by reminding people to pass favors they had received on to others. Living Word Lutheran, Medina, Ohio, stands in a line of congregations that take this idea seriously.

In planning for its 25th anniversary, Living Word’s members remembered they had a debt to pay. As a mission, the congregation received a $1,000 donation from Reformation Lutheran, Eastlake, Ohio. Reformation received that same start-up help from Triune Lutheran Church, Broadview Heights, Ohio.

For years Living Word struggled financially, holding prayer vigils to pay utility bills, said Rena Koontz, chair of outreach and publicity. James Lutz, pastor, even went without a paycheck at times. Today, 144-member Living Word was able to increase the amount of the donation to $2,500 to note its 25 years of ministry. It passed on the money to a mission congregation, Luterana La Trinidad in Canton, Ohio.


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