The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



• It wasn’t a typical snapshot of members from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reformed Church in America and ELCA. But more than 600 members from these denominations gathered in July for A Racial Ethnic Multicultural Event in Los Angeles. Under the theme “Spirit of Wholeness in Christ” a multitude of cultures, races, languages, traditions and ages danced, sang, studied and discussed what it means to be a multicultural church—not only on paper but in reality.

• When asked if she would appear on TV, Nadia Sutherland said, “No.” After a night of thought and prayer, she changed her mind. And that’s how the Dorcas Circle from Calvary Lutheran Church, Millbrae, Calif., was featured on ABC7 Salutes, a news segment in the San Francisco Bay Area. Filming took two hours, during which the women patiently explained what’s second nature to many Lutheran church women: how to make quilts. Sutherland, who the women affectionately call “Sarge,” has been in charge for 35 years. The Dorcas Circle not only makes quilts but also pillows, kit bags for the homeless and special bags for children at Christmas. In earlier years their work was sent to Lutheran World Relief. Now they’ve put more emphasis on serving local needs, which may be why the local TV station decided to feature them.

• They were known as members of “the church that burned,” but at a service of thanksgiving and dedication Gail Wolling, pastor of St. John-St. Mark Lutheran, Canajoharie, N.Y., told them: “Now we need to be the church with a fire in our bellies. We need to put our shoulders to the task and use this building to bring others into God’s presence.” The July 8 service in the restored sanctuary was held one year and one week after the church was flooded and days later severely damaged by fire. “All around the region folks have watched us put things back together again. But we know that the goal was never to have things exactly the same—for that would have squandered this moment in history,” The Recorder (Amsterdam, N.Y.) reported Wolling as saying.

• Many students in and around Ironton, Ohio, begin their school year without basic school supplies and a backpack. Teachers often buy supplies for students out of their own pocket. For the third year, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ironton, held a “Tools for Schools” giveaway Aug. 4 at two locations. Ironton is a small Appalachian town of 11,000; 23 percent live below the poverty line and 34 percent are under age 18. All Saints Lutheran, Worthington, and Resurrection Lutheran, Hilliard, also participated.


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February issue


Embracing diversity