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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Please advise ...

California congregation offers financial advice in troubled times

Often the most effective program in a congregation begins with someone noticing a need and asking, “How can we help?”

Jackie Cullum (left), Suco Gonzalez
Jackie Cullum (left), Suco Gonzalez and RandyKistler register participants for a Team St. Luke project in Woodland Lakes, Calif. Team St. Luke consists of experts willing to advise those needing financial help.

 Joe Buff wondered how the church could help those being laid off, losing homes to foreclosure, racking up debt and suffering the psychological effects from their financial troubles. While the church helped with food, shelter and basic crucial needs, he believed an element was missing.

“People need good, sound advice from professionals,” Buff said.

So Team St. Luke was born. Named after Buff’s congregation, St. Luke Lutheran , Woodland Hills, Calif., the program’s concept is simple but effective. Recruit experts in the key areas who are willing to meet one-on-one with anyone for 30 minutes at no charge.


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