•Overheard in Fargo, N.D., on Easter Sunday: "Christ is risen and the water isn't." Bishop Rick Foss, Eastern North Dakota Synod, says spring flooding in the Red River Valley created painful 1997 flashbacks for many residents. One little boy in Grand Forks, N.D., looked at the river and said, "Aren't we supposed to move away now, Mommy?" Foss related. He said a forecast for rain caused impending doom during Holy Week, but thankfully it didn't amount to much.
Oak Grove Lutheran High School, Fargo, was closed for a week and Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., canceled classes so students and faculty could help sandbag. "If I hadn't been here in 1997 and had my frame of reference altered, I'd say this is a monumental flood," Foss said.
At presstime, the Mississippi River had crested and there were no reports of damage to churches in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa or Illinois. •An impromptu service of praise and thanksgiving was held at St. John Lutheran Church, Norfolk, Neb., during Holy Week in honor of Lt. Shane Osborn. The Navy pilot is credited with the safe return of his crew after their reconnaissance plane was damaged following a collision with a Chinese jet fighter. Osborn's mother, Diana, is a member of St. John, and Shane was confirmed there. While Diana Osborn knew St. John would be supportive, she was overwhelmed to be the recipient of such care. "As a nurse I've often been the person giving care, and it's quite a change to be cared for so completely. People are very heartfelt in their prayers."
Jack Williams, pastor of St. John, said, "Eleven days on our knees. I don't know about you, but that's the most I've prayed in a long time." •An ELCA pastor in Cincinnati, describes the mood there as "quietly anxious" since a young African American was shot and killed by a policeman in early April. The 19-year-old was running-unarmed-in an alley only a block from First Lutheran, an ELCA congregation. James Miller, the Lutheran representative on the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, says some churches changed worship times during Holy Week to meet the city's 8 p.m. curfew. "For Lutherans and every resident in Cincinnati, there has been a great deal of anxiety and concern that's been below the surface for a number of years. The unrest was brought back out front," said Miller, pastor of Roselawn Lutheran Church. "We need to be dealing with varying perspectives-where problems are and who is responsible. Let's talk about building from now instead of assigning blame." Miller said there are worries about more violence if the officer isn't prosecuted. •The official status of Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa, has been changed from an associate degree to a bachelor's degree granting institution. Waldorf, an ELCA college, will now add upper-division programming and majors.