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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Living' their mission

Louisiana churches set priorities & define ministries in post-Katrina world

Sitting at the head of a table lined on both sides by community leaders, Patrick Keen, pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, New Orleans, makes an impassioned plea for the involvement of lawmakers, clergy and citizens. Involuntarily, it seems, he stands up to address those gathered in the fellowship hall of Bethlehem. A man had been killed by gunfire across the street from the 6th District Police Station that day; five others in the area had been killed in the four days prior.

Patrick Keen (center), pastor of Bethlehem
Patrick Keen (center), pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, New Orleans, meets with community activists. In a post-hurricane world, the group discusses such issues as crime, drug use, the inequity of educational resources and price gouging for rent and home repairs.
A cameraman from the local Fox affiliate records the proceedings as a litany of pressing community concerns are listed.

At Bethlehem, recovering from Hurricane Katrina manifests itself in many ways, not the least of which is slowing violent crime.

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