A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.
'Gods work. Our hands.' Sunday, #2
ELCA members work every day to serve their neighbors and make the world a better place. “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday provides a unique opportunity for the nearly 10,000 congregations of the ELCA to join together for a dedicated day of service in communities across the country. From packing groceries to planting gardens, ELCA members put their faith in action during the Sept. 7 day of service, doing God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus’ name throughout the world.
Members of Wilmington Lutheran Church in Arnegard, N.D., brought produce from their gardens and filled 39 grocery bags, which included a welcome note and an invitation to worship. The bags were delivered to oil-field workers and their families who live in campers.
In the rain, members of Grace Lutheran Church in Washington, N.C., helped take down and haul away an old playground that had caused several injuries over the summer. A safer replacement is being sought.
Small hands from Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Rochester Hills, Mich., were a big help as the congregation harvested vegetables for a local food pantry and mulched trails and weeded wild-flower gardens in a nature preserve.
Members of Peace Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, N.M., cleared and weeded garden beds and planted seeds at Lynn Middle School. The congregation also worked with La Semilla Food Center, a local program that builds awareness about food issues.
Members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lebanon Ind., painted the soccer shed for the Lebanon Area Boys and Girls Club. The shed was built by the congregation during the 2013 day of service.
‘God’s work. Our hands.’ Sunday
Thousands of ELCA members from across this church participated in the 2014 “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. Wearing gold T-shirts, the day involved ELCA members serving their communities in ways that shared the love of God with all people. From striving to build awareness about hunger and poverty in the United States to cleaning up parks and neighborhoods, ELCA members were reminded that “we are church together for the sake of the world.”
Within the first few hours of a food drive hosted by a group of congregations from the ELCA Southeastern Iowa Synod, volunteers loaded vehicles with food to be delivered to local food pantries for sorting.
Members of Zion Lutheran Church in Davenport, stood by the entrance of Save-A-Lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. collecting food to support local food pantries. Many shoppers who donated said they have personally received food from a food pantry and wanted to give back.
This week an ELCA member from Denver asked Living Lutheran why so many church buildings have the same architectural elements and furnishings, such as tall peaked roofs, steeples, stained-glass windows, altars and pews in rows. Be sure to see how an ELCA synod bishop and pastor responded to that question in our Ask a Pastor section. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of ELCA church buildings from across the country.
St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Williams County, N.D.
ELCA higher education
The 500-year-old Lutheran intellectual tradition lives on in ELCA higher education. The 26 colleges and universities of the ELCA offer both undergraduate and graduate education in the best of liberal arts, pre-professional and professional education. Our schools are dedicated to the freedom of inquiry and the development of the whole person. At ELCA colleges and universities, students are educated for a sense of calling or vocation, opening the path toward a meaningful life of contribution to the common good through whatever career they choose. Enjoy these “back to school” images from students at this church’s colleges and universities.
On Move In Day at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, students walk through the university’s Memorial Gate to the applause of parents, faculty and staff. Four years later on graduation day, they will walk out of the gate. Capital University, an ELCA school, will welcome about 745 new students (plus 75 transfer students) this fall.
Andrew Larsen, a student at Pacific Lutheran University, was one of two Peace Scholars from Pacific at the Peace Scholars program in Oslo, Norway, this summer. Last spring, Larsen and fellow student Amy Delo attended the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis held at Augsburg College (also an ELCA school) and the University of Minnesota. (Photo/John Froschauer)
Pacific Lutheran University student Nellie Moran, an economics and French double major, met some interesting people while working for the Democratic National Committee this summer. Nellie, who graduates in May, would like to eventually run for public office. Pacific Lutheran in Tacoma, Wash., is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities. (Photo/White House photographer)
As a part of first-year orientation, students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., participate in Gettysburg is Volunteering Day, designed to enable students to help out and get to know their local community. This is performed in conjunction with the college’s award-winning Center for Public Service. Gettysburg is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities.
In anticipation of the 2014-2015 academic year, faculty, staff and students spruce up the campus of Newberry College in Newberry, S.C. Newberry is one of the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities.
Signs of faith
What’s your sign? Church sign, that is! We asked ELCA members through the ELCA Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Lutherans to share images of their church property sign. Here are a few images that were shared – including one from a Lutheran companion church overseas.
Covenant Lutheran Church in Wheatland, Wyo.
Emanuel Lutheran Church in Bradford, Pa.
Malaria in Malawi
The Lutheran malaria program in Malawi works to fight malaria through education, disease prevention, treatment and sustainable living. The program is implemented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi and the Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa with support from the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Since the start of the campaign four years ago, ELCA members and our companions overseas have already seen a reduction in the number of deaths from this preventable, treatable disease.
This young girl has learned about malaria through the Lutheran malaria program at the Salima Parish Center in Malawi. Children under 5 are especially vulnerable to malaria because of their undeveloped immune systems.
Esther participates in the Lutheran malaria program in the Kanoga village in Malawi. Children like Ester have become great ambassadors in sharing malaria education and insisting on prevention methods in their home.
John Bvumbwe, left, is the malaria focal person in a community near Nkhotakota, Malawi, and Mphatso Thole, right, is the information and communications officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi.
The ELCA Malaria Campaign supports comprehensive, community-based programs that empower communities to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria. These children have learned about malaria prevention.