• What can a strip-mall thrift store, selling only donated merchandise, produce in benevolence gifts? West Valley Lutheran Thrift Shop, Sun City, Ariz., has distributed more than $250,000 to various charities in little more than two years. Shop creator Dot Nelson, a member of American Lutheran Church, Sun City, l ed all volunteers--many from local congregations--by working 1,119 hours for the store last year.
• Hope Lutheran Church, Fresno, Calif., held a memorial service July 10 for Air Force Capt. L. Timothy Haun, 33, a s on of the congregation, who was killed by the bomb blast in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He was attached to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.
• In the Upper Susquehanna Synod of Pennsylvania, a church looking for a little magic can call on Craig Lantz, pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Bloomsburg, P a. Lantz, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, presents the good news of Jesus Christ through his Magic Ministry.
• To honor the life of Dawn Fehring, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Olympia, Wash., is using donated money to give $1,000 grants for scholarships, projects and programs that will share the love and grace of Christ with all people. A benefit show of music, magic and puppets helped raise money for the fund. Fehring was a st udent at the Lutheran Bible Institute in Issaquah, Wash., when she was murdered in her apartment.
• Fire struck Grace Lutheran Church, Westbrook, Minn., June 20. No one was injured in the blaze. Police suspect two boys, ages 10 and 12, of setting the fire, which gutted the nave of the church. Area congregations offered their support to members of Grace.
• Moved by a picture in The Lutheran of a hungry child in Somalia, members of Martin Luther Church, Lees Summit, Mo., put more than $1,000 in spare change for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal in a jug. Dorothy Brumble spurred donations by putting the picture on the jug. Sadly someone smashed the jug and took the money. But Brumble received a new copy of the picture, got another jug, and the congregation has started again.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers