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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A crisis & faith

Unemployment ... investment loss ... home foreclosures ... bailouts ... recession

Jon N. Keiser has seen some tough times. “But I haven’t seen it as bad as this on such a grand scale,” said the pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, Tampa, Fla. “It’s an atmosphere of gloom and doom. People are nervous about what is going to happen tomorrow.”

The global economic crisis has taken a toll on the Tampa area — and members of Our Saviour. Some have lost jobs and homes. Contributions to the congregation have declined a few percentage points from last year. Staff members have not had raises in the last two years. The congregation’s community-supported food bank has seen a 20 percent increase, serving 1,062 individuals in October 2008, compared to 884 in October 2007.

amy elliott
Jocelyn and Dan D’Antonio (inset), Jocelyn and Dan D’Antonio, members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Rockville Centre, N.Y., work with other hunger committee members to cook food for a local soup kitchen. Since last fall, the committee moved from cooking once a month to twice a month, helping to meet a higher demand for emergency assistance on Long Island.
With these challenges, outreach “takes on a deeper meaning,” Keiser said. The 556-member congregation has offered a service of hope and a series of workshops on resume writing, credit counseling and home foreclosures. On its electronic message board, the church recently displayed John 14:18 — I will not leave you desolate.


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September issue

SEPTEMBER issue:

Reinventing Sunday school

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