The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


New Orleans two years later

Nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina swamped Grace Lutheran in New Orleans under 6 feet of sludge, the congregation celebrated new life and leadership in its restored sanctuary and fellowship hall.

In June, Leon Philpot was installed as Grace’s synodically authorized lay minister. The congregation also bid farewell to interim Phil Blom (front left), here leading an impromptu choir of families whose homes were rebuilt following the storm. Many of the home-owners received support from Grace and the Blom Memorial for Mission.

Grace’s buildings sustained $1.3 million in damage; only $400,000 was covered by insurance. Volunteer builders and Grace partners, including more than 170 ELCA congregations, helped make up for the loss. In response to the outpouring of support, the congregation established Saving Grace, a ministry to those in need in the neighborhood and beyond.


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