The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


July 2001 Churchscan

  • •Lt. Shane Osborn, the Navy commander of the crew involved in a collision with a Chinese jet fighter, returned to his Nebraska home and his mother's congregation, St. John Lutheran, Norfolk, in April. He asked his family to not tell about his arrival so he could have quiet, quality time with them prior to a homecoming parade. Osborn said prayer was crucial when his crew was detained in China. "We all prayed as a group prior to each meal," he said. "I prayed several times a day — a long one before going to sleep at night and before each interrogation." Asked if he considered that part of his commander duties, he replied, "It's my responsibility as a human being."

  • •The driver charged in a crash that killed three St. Olaf College (Northfield, Minn.) students in March plead innocent and was scheduled to go on trial in early June. Brandon Hurst, 25, Williamsville, Ill., was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated drunken driving in the March 17 crash near Springfield, Ill. Hurst was traveling north in the southbound lanes of a divided highway when his vehicle plowed head-on into the carload of students headed south for spring break. Three of students were killed and two were hospitalized.

  • •An H. George Anderson Chair for Mission and Cultures was established at The Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia. Pledges from individuals and congregations have reached half of the $1.5 million goal. The chair was announced at the annual spring convocation, which Anderson, ELCA presiding bishop, attended to observe the 45th anniversary of his graduation from the seminary. When the chair is filled in 2003, a faculty member will study and teach about issues and challenges in Christian mission, witness and evangelism in relation to contemporary cultures, with multicultural contexts as an emphasis.

  • •Messiah Lutheran Church, Ralston, Neb., faced a good amount of commotion in April when it was the site of a wedding in the movie About Schmidt, starring Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates. Nicholson also celebrated his 64th birthday at the church during filming. Greg Berger, Messiah's pastor, served as the wedding's technical adviser and members were asked to be extras.

  • •When members of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Warrenton, Va., voted on a $10,000 renovation of their chancel this spring they were well-aware of the earthquake that had just hit India. So they voted against the renovation. Instead they will raise the amount of the renovation estimate and send it to ELCA International Disaster Response to help earthquake victims.

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