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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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May 11, 2006

In the service of others

The venues very different but the business was the same.

Several hundred members of the South/Central Synod of Wisconsin filed easily in and out of the Marriott Madison West hotel conference room on May 5. The hotel, in Middleton, sits conveniently near an exit to the Beltway that rings Madison.

The display booths outside the hall featured generous room. Vendors spread their materials over nicely spaced tables, while aisles were more than broad enough to accommodate those coming and going to the assembly room.

A couple hundred miles to the east on May 6, a slightly smaller crowd from the Southeast Michigan Synod piled into the gymnasium of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on the edge of Ida. The town, about half way between Detroit and Toledo, Ohio, lies in farm country as bucolic as any in the Midwest.

Vendors set up in the hallway outside the gym, or in two classrooms down the hall toward the sanctuary. The lunch bags were lined up by attentive and friendly church members atop tables along an outside sidewalk linking the striking church and modern gym.

Southeast Michigan had met a couple of times recently in Detroit, so it was time to gather in a more rural location in the diverse synod.

And that’s the point. Despite the differences in locations or amenities, assemblygoers of both synods went about their business with the same enthusiasm, the same determination, the same dedication. Where they offered their service didn’t matter.

All had given up part of a precious spring weekend to do church work. All deserved the same thank you.

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