Bright Spot: Food for Backpacks
A 2021 Food Ministry Grant recipient
"...The schools, our partners in this program, confidentially place this critical food in the children's backpacks each week. We currently serve 492 elementary, middle school, and Alternative Learning Center students.

Jesus, in a directive to Peter, told us to feed the lambs! Food for Backpacks has inspired a band of faithful volunteers from local churches, businesses, and the community at large to serve this vital endeavor. Our volunteers are united with a common purpose of feeding God's hungry children."
A Christmas Message
from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
This is our second pandemic Christmas. We thought this would be over so long ago. And still, we wear masks; we're physically distant; we can't be with friends and family as we used to do. And also, there's so much that's broken in this world, so much that tells us, “Why have hope? Just give up.”

But we have a hope that's stronger than any of this, stronger even than death. The hope of God comes in the form of a tiny baby, a helpless child; nevertheless, who grew to a man and in his fragile strength was willing to die on the cross and was raised again.

I don't know what next Christmas will bring. I don't know what New Year's will bring. But I do know we have hope.

St. Paul put it this way: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Merry Christmas, dear church.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Important Dates...
  • December 24-31: Synod office closed for Christmas
  • January 13-14, 2022: Faith Formation Retreat, featuring Dr. Terri Elton
  • March 20, 2022: Councils as Leaders in-person event (Owatonna)
  • May 72022 Synod Assembly (Mankato, MN)
  • July 24-28: ELCA Youth Gathering (Minneapolis, MN)
  • August 8-12: ELCA Churchwide Assembly (Ohio)
Prayer Calendar: December 26
  • Faith Lutheran Church, Winona
  • Highland Prairie Lutheran Church, Peterson
  • St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna
  • Hayward Lutheran Church, Hayward
  • Puma Lutheran Church, Tanzania
  • Castillo Fuerte Lutheran Church, Colombia
  • Kule Lutheran Parish, South Sudan