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Two months out


On Mother’s Day ... A


give the gift of a net—and a corsage


t the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, Nadine Ridley, then pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Vestal, N.Y., was moved by a mission- ary’s presentation about the impact malaria had on his family. His wife and their children con- tracted malaria while in Africa. Ridley brought the mission- ary’s story home to Christ the


King’s JustFaith group. As she described in her sermon how malaria starts with a single insect bite, a canopy of netting was dropped on the congregation. The effect was profound, said Christine Knapp, a member of JustFaith, a program for adults on compassion, spiritual growth and Christian community. Since malaria affects primarily women and infants, and recognizing that one of the greatest losses is that of a child, Knapp suggested members purchase nets in honor of mothers on Mother’s Day. As a society, we spend billions on flowers, candy and cards to honor mothers, Knapp reasoned. But the gift of a bed net in honor of a mother may potentially save one to four lives. Last Mother’s Day, the JustFaith group and friends made corsages out of netting. For a $10 donation to the ELCA’s malaria project, the donor received a corsage and card, a mother in another country received a malaria net, and her children new life. The small congregation purchased more than 100 nets, with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans adding 50 more.


The Malaria Campaign enables the ELCA to join with African companion churches in the global effort to prevent, treat and contain malaria by 2015. In the poorest places of the


Malaria facts


• In 2008, malaria caused nearly 1 million deaths, mostly among African children. • In Africa a child dies every 45 seconds of malaria. • Malaria threatens more than half of the world’s population, with a disproportionate effect on children, pregnant women and their unborn babies.


• Malaria is preventable and curable. SOURCE: WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION


world, window screens aren’t available, anti-malarial drugs are expensive and an effective malaria cure doesn’t exist. Insecticide-treated bed nets are the most cost-effective way to prevent malaria transmission. So for just $10 per net, far less than flowers from a florist, people can buy a net (including education on its use and shipping) for those who need one. For more information or to donate, visit the campaign’s website at www.elca.org/malaria. To find directions to make corsages and a template for cards to be given in honor or memory of mothers or women who have “mothered” others, go to Christ the King’s website at www.ctkvestal.org, write to mail@ ctkvestal.org or call 607-729-2688. M


Good one! Love in a glove box


Forty people gathered at North Emanuel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn., for a project called “Love in a Glovebox,” an idea they got from River of Joy Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (www.intotheriver. org). Volunteers filled about 100 gift bags with items for the homeless: a Kleenex pack, granola bars, lotion, hand warmers, hand sanitizer, gloves and lip balm. The items were blessed at worship, packed into bags and sent out with members to carry in their glove compartments, ready to give away to the homeless. For more information, con- tact nemanuel@juno.com.


Send your congregational stories—both those for a specific month/holiday or your best timeless idea—to julie.sevig@thelutheran.org. March 2011 39


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