ELCA NEWS SERVICE
May 22, 2012
ELCA synod bishop says hope remains in tornado-ravaged town
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Although there are still signs of devastation one year later throughout Joplin, Mo., hope remains, said the Rev. Gerald L. Mansholt, bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
The United States' deadliest tornado in six decades struck Joplin in the afternoon of May 22, 2011. Thousands of homes, businesses and church buildings were reduced to rubble, including Peace Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation there.
"Joplin is a place of hope and healing," said Mansholt. "It's a community where people have pulled together. The Christian community has been a great source of comfort and encouragement through their own witness and service and in helping the community of Joplin to rebuild."
Known as a church that rolls up its sleeves and gets to work, the ELCA and its members responded generously with prayers and financial support immediately after the tornado. Today, ELCA members continue to provide spiritual care for children and families, coordinate the work of volunteers and assess and meet the long-term needs of the community.
At Peace Lutheran, the Rev. Katharine Redpath has provided a strong pastoral presence, said Mansholt. The congregation held an outdoor anniversary service May 20, where members focused on their journey and that of their community.
"I've been at Peace Lutheran in recent months, leading worship and spending time with the congregation," said Mansholt. And while they have a long way to go in discerning their future, whether or not to rebuild, hope remains, he said.
Gifts to ELCA Disaster Response at https://community.ELCA.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=358 enable this church to respond when disaster strikes. Volunteer information is available at http://www.ELCA.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Responding-to-the-World/Disaster-Response/Volunteer.aspx.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with 4.2 million members in 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com