The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary this Sunday, Sept. 8 – as churches all across the United States are having a special Sunday called God's Work, Our Hands, to bring in the 25 year celebration in style.
At least two area churches are getting in on the action. The bright yellow volunteer shirts of both Augustana East Sveadahl (AES) Ministries and First Lutheran Church of St. James will be visible in the St. James community this Sunday, doing good deeds and providing food for anyone interested in being part of the celebration.
"Both of us are participating in it, we're doing projects," said Pastor Kathleen Ulland-Klinkner of AES. "We'll be out in the community wearing yellow shirts so we'll really stand out."
AES ministries will be serving free hot dogs and chips to the community from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on their lawn. They are inviting everyone to stop by and enjoy a nice lunch outside.
After they are through serving food to the community, members of the church will be working at the food shelf and doing some work at the Good Samaritan. Children will be singing at all three of the good Samarian buildings during the afternoon.
Along with these planned activities, AES plans to have members out doing random acts of kindness throughout the community. They will be windshield washing at Super Fair Foods and delivering bags filled with goodies and cookies to shut-ins.
"We picked the meal because we just wanted to celebrate with the community – we thought people would see us driving by and after a busy week with school it would be good that they don't have to cook, they can come by and get hot does with their kids," said Pastor Ulland Klinkner. "Then, we just looked at various needs in the community – I visit Good Samaritan often myself and see how they appreciate it when children come, and the energy and life that brings, and we just thought of what can we do randomly to make people smile."
First Lutheran also has big plans for celebrating the day. They will be starting off their celebrations with an all-congregation worship service followed by a biscuits and gravy breakfast.
Following the in-church celebrations, members of the church will move into the community. Some will be working to paint picnic tables in Memorial Park, others will be doing some landscaping and groundwork at the Humane Society in St. James.
As part of their random acts of kindness, members of First Lutheran Church will be delivering cookies to homes in the neighborhood of their church and washing windshields at local gas stations. First Lutheran members have also made plans to have the children of the congregation sing at Brandt Ridge.
Page 2 of 2 - "We asked the city what kind of needs there were that could be easily addressed," said Pastor Todd Nelsen of First Lutheran Church in St. James. "In addition, we wanted to go out to our immediate neighbors just to remind them of our presence in the neighborhood and to share a gift with them."
The ELCA is excited to share their 25 year anniversary with the community of St. James. They are excited to move forward with their mission and celebrate how far they have come as a congregation. The ELCA has about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations and 65 synods. They also have 25 colleges and universities including four in Minnesota.
Come out and celebrate Sunday, Sept. 8, with the ELCA in St. James.