The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Incarnation Lutheran Church, Columbia,
Incarnation Lutheran Church, Columbia, S.C., in September dedicated its second child-care center. The first facility was established in 1981 to meet community needs. Together, the facilities now provide day- and after-school care for 143 children (6 weeks old through elementary school). The program employs 30 staff.
• Five members of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, San Diego, visited Qualcomm Stadium Oct. 25 to provide emotional and spiritual care for people seeking shelter from the wildfires in Southern California. Members also sent supplies to the stadium. Other pastors, chaplains and lay leaders visited evacuation centers and other locations, said Tempie D. Beaman, Lutheran Disaster Response coordinator and disaster response coordinator, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, Los Angeles. “Spiritual and emotional care will be needed throughout the recovery period, which may last for years,” she said. House of Prayer Lutheran Church, Escondido, Calif., served as an impromptu evacuation center for some of its members. Spirit of Joy Lutheran, Ramona, Calif., offered its church building as a resource center for LDR. Central City Lutheran Mission, San Bernardino, Calif., provided more food and clinic help than usual. California Lutheran Homes, Burbank, supplied vacant beds to accommodate other communities that were evacuated. Although there were no reports of ELCA churches destroyed by fire, a number of clergy and parishioners from the Pacifica Synod were evacuated, said Murray D. Finck, bishop.

• The new McKenna Crossing may be the first senior living community physically connected to a church: Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran , Prior Lake, Minn. McKenna Crossing, formed in partnership with Presbyterian Homes and Services, is the first phase of Shepherd’s Path, a faith-based intergenerational campus on 80 acres set amid protected parks and wetlands. A YMCA Aquatic Fitness Center will ultimately be linked to the complex, which already includes a preschool, learning center, and shelter and resource center for homeless youth. The complex will eventually include a medical clinic, soccer field and branch bank. McKenna Crossing’s Town Center features a conservatory, chapel, restaurant, café and coffee shop, bookstore and market, beauty salon and barber shop, library and media room, club room, wellness center and movie theater. There are 82 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 54 assisted living apartments and 18 apartments for those who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of memory loss.

• The nurture board of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Ill., hosts an annual “Bingo to Fight Hunger” family night. Admission is a food donation (canned goods, baby food, diapers, dry package goods, etc.) for the People’s Resource Center. The PRC provides food for more than 6,000 people in the area each month. Nearly 80 people of all ages attended the October event and didn’t go away empty-handed. Area merchants donated 45 prizes worth nearly $3,000.

St. Mark Lutheran Church, Belleville, Ill., on All Saints’ Day celebrated its 25-year relationship with St. George’s Episcopal Church. The two share a building as well as several community ministries and occasional worship services. In 1981, St. Mark was a new congregation worshiping at the Belleville Philharmonic Hall . A year later, St. George’s made space for the Lutherans to move their worship services and all congregational functions to its building. The Episcopalians worship at 8 and 10:30 a.m.; the Lutherans at 9. Church school is at 9 for the Episcopalians; 10:30 for the Lutherans. Together they’ve created a food pantry and contribute to the Financial Crisis Fund that provides rent and utility help to those in need.

• Leslie Kuder and Michael Mengres were married in late July by Steven M. Krebill, pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church, Middleburg Heights, Ohio, where Kuder is a member. A month later, they celebrated again with a reception for God’s Faithful Followers, a group of nearly 90 adults with developmental disabilities who meet for worship and fellowship every Thursday at Bethel. Kuder has helped with GFF nine years; Mengres for two. “Because there were too many GFF people to invite to the actual wedding and reception, I figured the next best thing would be to have a wedding reception on one of our GFF nights,” Kuder said. “This way we could celebrate with all our friends.” The couple, wearing their wedding attire, posed for photos with partygoers, many of whom also dressed up for the reception. Carol Krajewski, GFF’s director, said the evening was a testimony to the relationship between GFF friends and volunteers. “I was so impressed and grateful that this young couple would be so thoughtful and share God’s love through their time, their creativity, their resources and their love.”


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February issue


Embracing diversity