St. Mark’s in Elberta Gives Out Family Advent/Christmas Bags

Since we have not yet been able to return to a COVID safe Sunday school at St. Mark’s, we provided Advent/Christmas bags for every family in the church. Inside the bags were Jesse Tree devotions and ornaments, an activity book for each child in the family, a craft for each child, two CDs of Christian music (with a code to download them onto an electronic device as well), and a bit of candy. We have been so pleased with the response of the congregation for these items. We also gave every family the 40 Days of Comfort devotions from the LCMS Disaster Response Office. We thank Thrivent Action Team grants for providing seed money for this project!


St. Mark’s Lutheran Hosts Comfort Dogs

St. Mark’s in Elberta, AL, hosted three comfort dogs and their handlers to help those in our community who have suffered the effects of Hurricane Sally. The dogs went to three schools on Friday, October 2, and stayed in the Elberta area at the town park and the church on Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4. They are part of Lutheran Church Charities, a national human care ministry embracing the unique, calming nature and skills of purebred golden retrievers.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are working animals, trained to interact with people of all ages and circumstances who are suffering and in need. The dogs participate in scheduled and special events. Dogs are permanently placed with churches, schools, and other ministries involved in Christian human care by LCC. Permanent placement includes full training for handlers and caregivers along with ongoing support, coaching, and training. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs live in the homes of assigned caregivers. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs serve every day in the community in which they are placed, and they are dispatched in times of disaster and crisis to bring comfort to all those affected, including first responders and the volunteers who serve them.

Lutheran Church Charities currently has over 130 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs serving in more than 27 states. LCC operates training facilities in Illinois and Nebraska.

Introducing the St. Paul Food Pantry!

Giving God the glory, St. Paul Lutheran Church (Burgundy) in New Orleans is pleased to announce our new non-perishable food pantry mounted to the building on Port Street. Thanks to the dedication of our church members, we will be able to provide nourishment to those in need. Both funding and in-kind donations make this service possible. St. Paul is grateful for the Thrivent Action Team grant and the generous donation from CEF (Church Extension Fund) Director, Rev. Stephen Linck.

Everyone is encouraged to take what they need and leave what they can, which decreases stigma for anyone approaching the pantry. It holds up to 60 cans and has room for larger items on the bottom shelf.

Information about the structure …
The pantry is made of treated exterior plywood that resembles barge board wood – the same material congregants would have used in the 1840s. Along with the corrugated tin roof, vertical slat trim, and extra layers of white paint, it appears the pantry was built 180 years ago, serving as a reminder of our commitment to neighbors for many generations.

The pantry itself is compliant with ADA regulations, has spring loaded door hinges to ensure it remains closed and unbreakable Lexan windows. The inside is painted bright yellow and includes a motion sensor light for night-time access.

Matthew 25:35-36
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”




Christ the King in Natchitoches, Louisiana, hosted its first monthly cruise-in on August 15, 2020, at the Sonic in Natchitoches. This is an outgrowth of our annual Cruisin’ with the King car show. It’s a great way to continue developing relationships with folks in town.

We will be taking September off to prepare for the huge annual Natchitoches car show on Front Street at the end of September. Our next cruise-in will be October 17 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on our Ctk grounds.






Third Annual CtK Cruisin’ with the King Car Show

Christ the King in Natchitoches, Louisiana, held its third annual Cruisin’ with the King Car Show. We had a turnout of more than fifty cars and served free hot dogs, popcorn, chips, and water to more than 200 people.

This year’s car show winners:

      • Participant’s Choice – 1967 Chevy Camaro
      • Pastor’s Choice – 1967 Porsche Carrera
      • Kid’s Choice – 1985 Chevy Silverado
      • People’s Choice – 1955 Chevy Bel Air

Great connections are being made via this car show. Besides being an anticipated yearly event, the show has developed an ongoing monthly cruise-in at local restaurants and drive-ins. This is an effort in fellowship and furthering relationships with other “gearheads,” to show off their cars, cruise together, and have a meal. The first cruise-in was held on Saturday, August 15, 2020, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Sonic in Natchitoches.



VBS at St. Mark’s

St. Mark’s in Elberta, AL, held an online VBS that began in late July that anyone can participate in at their convenience. After purchasing CPH’s starter kit that included digital materials, they used the Rainforest Explorers skits provided and added their own story, song, and craft video. A Thrivent Action Team grant was used to help purchase a song CD/DVD set for each family in the church, as well as the lesson leaflets and craft materials. The craft materials were all put together in a large Ziploc bag and given out one Sunday morning. Pastor Keith Ringers made a story video for each day that included a cartoon of the lesson. Congregational members Toby Moore and Danny Botts each made videos: Toby of a song for the day, and Danny on how to do the craft. The VBS link stayed up on the St. Mark’s website to be shared with anyone who will benefit from the Bible stories, skits and/or songs: