The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A beacon on the key

The winds raged. Trees crashed. Power disappeared. But hope rose through the people of Key Peninsula Lutheran Church, Lakebay, Wash. On Dec. 14-15, 2006, the area was hit hard by a brutal windstorm.

With a budget smaller than the salaries of most congregations and an average Sunday attendance smaller than a college choir, this congregation did what the Gospel announced that third Sunday in Advent: give a coat if you have two, share food when there’s some to spare.

Worship on Dec. 17 was held in the social hall, where more than 100 had been fed and were invited to stay for the service. The congregation was living the gospel as it was proclaimed.

Members had planned and built this multipurpose space to be available to the public, including as an emergency shelter. They had worked with local agencies and received grants to provide emergency power. The peninsula is heavily wooded and often suffers serious power outages during windstorms.

It was amazing to see how people who care for others discover a strength within themselves they couldn’t have imagined was possible. This is what God’s grace looks like as it comes to us through the lives of people.

This congregation that once served seagoing people is—in times of disaster and calm—a beacon on the key, pointing the way to life.


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