• Although the community center isn’t yet built, St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church in Washington, D.C., has selected its name: “Thurgood and Cecelia Marshall Southwest Community Center.” In 1965, Thurgood and Cecilia Marshall moved from New York City to a townhouse in southwest Washington, D.C., and began attending St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church. While the new St. Matthew church building and community center are being built, the congregation is currently in ministry with St. Augustine’s. Cecilia Marshall said it is the “first U.S. building to be named for both Justice Marshall and me. I’m overwhelmed to be included in this honor.”
• The National Lutheran Choir, based in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., received a Wittenberg Award from the Luther Institute. The awards recognize Lutheran laity and clergy for distinguished service to church and society. Previous organizational winners include Lutheran World Relief and the St. Olaf [College] Choir, Northfield, Minn. The National Lutheran Choir was founded by Larry Fleming and is under the direction of David Cherwien. The Luther Institute, Washington, D.C., is an affiliate of the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.).
• For a third year, Harbor Lights, an annual fundraising event of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, South San Francisco, Calif., brought together people of faith, business owners and civic leaders to support Safe Harbor Shelter, the primary homeless shelter in San Mateo County. They raised $50,000, which included a grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. This is the largest amount Safe Harbor has received from a church. The shelter houses 90 men and women, offering hot meals and services such as mental-health counseling, job training and substance abuse treatment. It is operated through Samaritan House whose funds come from various government sources and foundations, yet depends heavily on the generosity of donations.
• Lutheran Social Services of South Central Pennsylvania received a $500,000 grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to fund LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly). The program begins next January and will provide social, medical and referral services to frail, elderly individuals living in Franklin County, Pa. A typical participant is about 80 years old and needs assistance with activities of daily living. Individuals will be able to continue living at home because of the services that LIFE will provide.
• “This is a giant leap for dental care,” said Neal Demby, director of dental medicine, The Lutheran Family Health Centers, when the network received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support oral health initiatives for people living with HIV/AIDS. The grant involves incorporating HIV rapid testing during routine dental visits, creating a national curriculum to train dentists in this new approach to care, and developing HIV/AIDS clinics and oral health initiatives in the U.S. Virgin Islands. LFHC’s dental training program currently spans communities from Alaska to New York to Hawaii. “By including HIV rapid testing in a routine dental diagnostic visit, we are essentially studying an entirely new process to oral care,” Demby said.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers