The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A passion for the neighborhood

Many have a desire to help but don't know how

Gary Liedtke, a pastor of St. Luke Lutheran, Waukesha, Wis., said other churches can do projects with schools too: “It all begins with an interest — shall we say passion — for the neighborhood.”

Anna French helps Saratoga students
Anna French helps Saratoga students at the church-sponsored Homework Club.
Many people have a desire to help those less fortunate but don’t know how to do it, he said. Frequently they ask: What can I do? Where should I go?

Churches should start by establishing a school relationship, discovering needs and imagining together what a partnership might bring, he said.

“Then plug into existing programs (tutoring, after-school programs, playground, art, music, etc.). Next, pray for [champions] to surface within the congregation,” Liedtke said.

One of those champions is church member Don French, who added this counsel: “Start small, encourage the school to ask when something is needed and don’t expect results overnight. Learn as you go, build on successes and discard or modify failures.”

Liedtke added, “Know that some of the best ways to ‘let the light shine’ are in care, support and service to children and families.”

For more information, contact French.


Don French

Don French

Posted at 4:50 pm (U.S. Eastern) 9/7/2009

The "For more information, contact French." linkto email in the Sept 2009 "A passion for the neighborhood" does not work. 

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