The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Parish Scan

St. Mark Lutheran Church, Williamsport, Pa., adopted Police Chief William F. Miller as part of an "Adopt A Cop" program. Congregations pray for their adopted policeman's safety and acknowledge significant dates in the officer's life, such as the birth of a child, birthdays and wedding anniversaries. The program was started by Kathy and Lou Kolb, members of St. Mark, to strengthen the community's connection to the police.

St. John Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio, held a charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament called Holy Hoops. The event raised $565 for a local Lutheran youth organization and a Lutheran school in Slovakia.

Most people think that TLC stands for tender loving care. But students at Washington Elementary School in Moline, Ill., know it means "The Literary Connection." Started at Faith Lutheran Church, the after-school reading program is designed to give 6- to 8-year-olds extra help with their studies.

While some folks walk, run or bicycle for the cause of world hunger, Lynda Haring, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Mohnton, Pa., goes fishing. Parishioners are asked to pledge per inch for the longest fish that Haring catches during her annual fishing trip to Ontario, Canada. This year's fish, a 26-inch Northern Pike, raised more than $1,000.

"Miracles aren't hard to find" at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Statesville, N.C., according to its pastor, Paul Conrad. This slogan was incorporated into an outdoor billboard by Steven Hubbard, a former member, to publicize the church and memorialize his grandparents.

"Dear Abby" has nothing on Charles Austin, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Ridgefield Park, N.J., where the church has developed an "ask the pastor" site on the Internet. Questions touch a wide range of issues from "Why are there so many denominations?" to "If Eve hadn't eaten that apple, wouldn't we all still be running around the Garden of Eden naked?"

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Sandy, Utah, donated $6,800 to build a six-unit dormitory for an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City [formerly Saigon], Vietnam. The church was responding to a presentation by Binh Nguyen Rybacki, who at age 18 fled Saigon when it fell to communist troops in 1975. Donations gathered by Rybacki are held in an account at her home congregation, King of Glory Lutheran, Loveland, Colo., and are used to help 400 children at the orphanage.

No one was left out at the 14th annual Blessing of Pets and Animals at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Wausau, Wis. To commemorate St. Francis of Assisi, 59 dogs, 11 stuffed animal pets, four rabbits, three guinea pigs, two gerbils, two newts, one snake, one turtle, one pot-bellied pig and one pet rock were blessed and given a special treat.

On All Saints' Sunday, members of St. John Lutheran Church, Perrysville, Ohio, didn't read off the names of the past year's deceased members as usual. Instead people were invited to light a candle in memory of a loved one before taking communion. Member Glenn Atkinson made an oak candleholder for the memorial.

Good Shepherd Lutheran, Hernando, Fla., is selling its own congregational license plate as an evangelism tool. The plate has the church's name and address, a cross and a welcoming message.


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