Photo blogs

A visual tour of ELCA congregations, people and events.

Summer in the garden

Jun 03, 2013


Hephatha Lutheran Church in Milwaukee built their community garden on a plot of land across the street from the church. The land had formerly been home to an abandoned and roach-infested home. The congregation worked with the city to acquire the land where they now grow flowers and vegetables. Read more about Hephatha Lutheran Church and their ministries here.


Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Bellevue, Wash., received a grant from ELCA World Hunger to establish their community garden as a part of the congregation’s “Earthkeeping” ministry. The congregation has both a garden and an orchard where they grow apples, pears and plums. Holy Cross also keeps a blog with advice for other gardeners about when and how to plant crops for the best results. You can read their blog here.


Trinity Lutheran Church in Palmer, Alaska, also received an ELCA World Hunger grant to support their potato garden. The congregation partners with the Next Step Day School, a school for young adults with disabilities, to maintain the garden and to donate the potato harvest to local organizations that can distribute the potatoes to those in need. Read more about Trinity’s potato garden here.


St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Racine, Wis., built their garden on the site of a former onion farm. The fruits and vegetables they grow are donated to local families and food pantries and sold at a weekly farmers market hosted in the congregation’s parking lot. “We make our own soup, jams, jelly, pickles, pickled beets,” says Mark Trinklein, the garden coordinator. “If somebody comes in a wheelchair and can’t shop on their feet, we give them a bouquet of flowers.”


The Garden of Hope at Salem Lutheran Church in Flint, Mich., was awarded an international award for being a place of peace from potential violence. Located in a rough, inner-city neighborhood, the garden is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to go inside and take home as many vegetables as they need. Read more about the Garden of Hope here.

How do you remember Memorial Day?

May 27, 2013

Many people attend prayer services at cemeteries and memorials in honor of those who have died in military service.

A moment of prayer at the 2012 Memorial Day observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.

Taps is sounded to honor Civil War veterans buried in the cemetery next to Zion (Spies) Lutheran Church, Reading, Pa. The congregation was established in 1774.

Veterans and active duty service members bow their heads in prayer during the Memorial Day ceremony at Lorraine American Cemetery, Saint Avold, France, burial site of 10,489 American service members who died during World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Regan).

A color guard with members of Chaska American Legion Post 57 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1791 visits the cemetery at East Union Lutheran Church, Carver, Minn.

A young man places a flag at the grave of a fallen soldier at the St. John’s Lutheran Church cemetery in Hamburg, Pa., on May 23, 2012.

Memorial Day evening at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Happy birthday! In celebration of Pentecost

May 19, 2013

On that first Christian Pentecost, the Holy Spirit — the helper Jesus promised to send — descended upon the disciples and other followers of Jesus.

Jhon Freddy Correa, pastor, celebrates Pentecost at the Sunday service at Emmaus Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis.

Red confetti falls upon the congregation at Faith Lutheran Church, Bellaire, Texas.

Mary Janz, pastor, preaches beside the flame of Pentecost at Emmaus Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis.

Food is in order at the Pentecost Picnic at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston.

The winds of Pentecost begin to blow though the worship space at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Fairview, N.C.

Fire, representing the Holy Spirit, at the Pentecost service, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Berkeley, Calif.

Balloons fly on Pentecost at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Bellevue, Wash.

A mural commissioned by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Moms of the Bible

May 13, 2013

Check out these famous paintings of moms from the Bible. They also happen to be the answers to our \"Moms of the Bible\" quiz.

Eve by Peter Paul Rubens 1. Eve was the mother of Seth and the grandmother of Enos.

Hannah presenting her son Samuel to the priest Eli, by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, ca. 1665 // 2. Hannah was the mother of Samuel.

“Sarah and the Angels” by Marc Chagall, 1960 // 3. The woman who laughed when she heard she was going to have a child was Sarah.

“Ruth and Naomi” by He Qi, 2001 // 4. The mother of Mahlon and Chilion and the mother-in-law of Ruth was Naomi.

“Hagar and the Angel” by Carel Fabritius, ca. 1643-5 // 5. Hagar and her son Ishmael were ministered by angels.

“The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel” by William Dyce, 1850 // 6. Rachel was the mother of Joseph, the man with the coat of many colors.

“Moses and Jochebed” by Pedro Americo, 1884 // 7. Jochebed was the mother of Moses.

“The Holy Family with Saint Elizabeth and the Infant St. John the Baptist” by Jacques Blanchard // 8. Mary’s cousin was Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

Jesus meeting the mother of James and John, artist unknown // 9. The mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, asked Jesus to have her boys sit on either side of him in his kingdom.

“Rebekah and Jacob” by Abel Pann // 10. Rebekah helped her son Jacob pull a fast one on his father so that he would inherit God’s covenant.

The power of art

May 06, 2013

St. Luke Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Chicago, mirrors the artistic neighborhood of which it has become a part.

St. Luke Lutheran Church has stood at the corner of Schubert and Francisco avenues for more than 100 years.

An interpretive dancer performs in St. Luke’s sanctuary.

Fire jugglers perform at St. Luke’s 2012 Easter Vigil.

St. Luke members don balloon hats at a Logan Square street festival.

A singer performs with an autoharp during worship.

One net at a time

Apr 29, 2013

The ELCA Malaria Campaign sees the fruits of its efforts on a trip to Africa.

In this “open clinic” in Zambia, people are tested for malaria using a rapid diagnostic test in a make-shift medical center beneath a tree. Patients have their blood tested via a finger prick similar to how people with diabetes check their blood sugar. The test then makes a diagnosis much like a pregnancy test: one line means the person has tested negative. Two lines indicate they have tested positive.

Those who test positive via the rapid diagnostic test can receive anti-malaria medication immediately. Trained personnel give them the medication and instructions on how to complete the full dose.

This is Innocent. Before Innocent was born, his mother took anti-malaria medication and slept under a net provided by the ELCA Malaria Campaign. Had Innocent’s mother not learned about these important prevention and treatment methods, Innocent might not be here today.

Many pastors in Zambia are trained to educate members about malaria and how to prevent it. At this worship service, members of the community learned about important preventive measures to keep them from contracting the disease.

At the same worship service, community members who are trained in malaria prevention instruct the congregation on the proper setup of an insecticide-treated bed net and how to safely sleep beneath one.

Children in Zambia receive nets, thanks in part to the generous gifts that ELCA members have made to the ELCA Malaria Campaign!