Posts in Individual Resources
Lenten Stories: With women in power, malaria doesn’t stand a chance

It is easy to think of malaria prevention as simply providing mosquito nets for prevention and medicine to those who have fallen ill. But there’s much more to it than that.

Burure is in the Gokwe Region of Zimbabwe, bordered by rivers that are notoriously difficult to cross during the rainy season. It is an area that has been plagued by outbreaks of malaria in the past. It is one of the most remote areas served by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ).

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Three Sides Podcast: Church in Community

In this episode of the Three Sides podcast we focus on the unique partnerships that exist among three distinct congregations in Rockford, Ill.

The three pastors share the motivation behind the creation of these partnerships, the joys of being in ministry together and the challenges they’ve encountered along the way. Each discusses how their congregations have adapted over time to respond to the needs of both their immediate communities and the larger community they share.

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Lenten Stories: One lifeline that never goes away

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry offers a warm meal, hospitality and community to neighbors in Hoboken, N.J.

The ministry serves about 65 people per day. In addition to meals, they offer free haircuts, music and a sense of community. Stanley Enzweiler, the program manager, said while different things bring people there, the only requirement is respect for the space and the people around them.

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Lenten Study: Week 5

Lent carries us with the Hebrews in search of the promised land, with Jesus into the wilderness and, ultimately, to the cross at Calvary. It is a somber season in the church year, so somber, in fact, that by the end, Christians will have gone 40 days without hearing “Alleluia” during worship. There is no other time during the church year when language in worship is so circumscribed as this. Many congregations even practice the tradition of “burying the Alleluia” at the start of the season, a ritual with ties going back to the Middle Ages by some estimates.

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Lenten Study: Week 4

At St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry in Hoboken, N.J., about 65 people each day come through the doors for a warm meal, extra clothing, a listening ear and a brief respite from the streets many live on each day. On Mondays, volunteers provide free haircuts. On Wednesdays, Chef Bill makes special “bill-ritos” from scratch. Every day, visitors are welcomed like honored guests, treated with the respect and hospitality that can be hard to find when you are experiencing homelessness.

Hoboken is a long way from Calvary. But for people who face the threats of homelessness, hunger and poverty, the shadow of the cross looms large. The jeers of the crowd that greeted Christ on that lonely hill are echoed in the derision and dismissal so many of us and our neighbors face when living in shelters, in cars or out on the street. The threat of a legal and political system tilted against Christ is felt still today, as laws that criminalize poverty and homelessness make the challenges our neighbors face seem almost insurmountable.

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Lenten Stories: Hatching a reliable protein source

In the remote and mountainous community of Llano de las Piedras, Cochoapa el Grande in Guerrero, Mexico, poverty and lack of opportunity can make healthy food hard to come by. As a result, children can suffer from malnutrition and slowed growth and development. Marcelina and her daughters, Imelda, 12, and Esmeralda, 10, were among the families who had a tough time affording enough healthy food.

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Lenten Study: Week 3

“And the book says, ‘We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.’”

So says the character Jimmy Gator in the 1999 film Magnolia. At its best, the past can evoke nostalgic memories of years gone by. At its worst, the past can seem like a burden, weighing down our prospects for the future. By faith, we look forward to God's promise of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). The sin that separates us from trust in the promise of God, though, needles the soul with the stark reminder: “the past ain’t through with us.”

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Lenten Study: Week 2

In the previous session, we learned how Martin Luther wrote that repentance consists in two things: contrition for sins and “taking hold of the promise.”

The “promise” here is the gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the promise of new life in the fullness of God’s reign. It is the promise of the gospels and the prophets, the promise our ancestors in the faith clung to, and the promise that carries the people of God today into communities around the world, accompanying neighbors amid staggering challenges of poverty, hunger and injustice.

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Lenten Stories: Dare to Love More

DLM Food and Resources at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, Ohio, is a place where families find nourishing food, warm clothes and an equally warm welcome.

“At first glance, it’s not much different from any well-run, client-choice food pantry,” said Deacon Marla Wood Kay, director of congregational ministries at Holy Trinity.

But, Wood Kay said, “the idea for this ministry was born in a hospice room,” where Holy Trinity member Debra Manteghi was dying of cancer.

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This Lent, consider ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving

Prayfast and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving – for the good of our families, our neighbors and communities around the world.

This Lent, you’re invited to join together with fellow members and supporters of ELCA World Hunger to study, reflect and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving. Experience how the grace of Christ moves us to engage in transformative works of love around the world as God calls us into the ministry of hope, liberation and restoration for our world.

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Lenten Study: Week 1

Lent is a story of the journey of the people of God. It is the story of us, or more appropriately “God with us.”

During the season, we remember the ancient Hebrews’ journey from slavery in Egypt and a generation spent wandering in the wilderness. We also re-enact, in our own small ways, Jesus’ journey into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil. The fast that many Christians commit to during Lent is a reflection of the 40- day fast Jesus undertook during this time.

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Three Sides Podcast: Women Who Lead

In this episode of the Three Sides podcast we hear from three women from within the ELCA who hold leadership positions in three different fields – religion, business and the nonprofit world. 

In the three segments of Three Sides, we’ll introduce you to ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton; Dr. Sylvia Sloan Black, a retired professor and now an executive coach; and Wendy Davidson, president of US Specialty Channels at the Kellogg Co.

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