Worship becomes worship: the Lutheran Church of Galilee organizes a distribution of school supplies – L’Observateur

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LAPLACE — Instead of always holding a worship service, the Galilean Lutheran Church congregation in LaPlace has decided to dedicate one Sunday every few weeks to the “worship service,” an opportunity to give back to the community.

It all starts Sunday, July 24 with a school supply giveaway scheduled for 10-11 a.m. at 3404 U.S. Highway 51 in LaPlace.

Supplies including notebooks, folders, pins, pencils, pens and more will be distributed to students at St. John the Baptist Parish. In order to receive supplies, the student must be present with at least one parent or guardian.

Rising Cane’s is supporting the event and will donate lemonade and sweet tea.

In the past, the Galilean Lutheran Church provided supplies to Emily C. Watkins, the school the congregation adopted.

“On July 24, we will be giving out school supplies in place of our normal morning worship service,” Pastor Regina Hickman said. “We try to get to know our community better and let them know us. We will have refreshments and people here to welcome them. We just want people to know that we care about them and that they are welcome here anytime.

According to Hickman, the worship service is also an opportunity to answer community questions about the Lutheran Church.

“There aren’t many Lutherans in that immediate area. Sometimes people look at you funny and want to know what a Lutheran is because it sounds like something strange. This is really not the case. The Lutheran Church believes in salvation through Jesus Christ,” Hickman said.

She added that the Lutheran Church welcomes everyone, regardless of a person’s culture or lifestyle, under the belief that God welcomes everyone. Visitors do not need to be members of the Lutheran Church to take part in open fellowship.

Before coming out of retirement to pastor the Lutheran Church last year, Hickman pastored the nearby Methodist Church for nine years. For the past year, she has assumed pastoral duties in both churches.

Like other congregations in the area, the Galilean Lutheran Church was hit by Hurricane Ida in August 2021. Internal worship service did not resume until three weeks later with an arrangement of makeshift chairs replacing the pews storm damaged.

“Everything had to be gutted down to about six feet. On Christmas Eve it was gutted and it looked a bit like a barn, so we built a manger out front and drove around with it,” Hickman said. “We have lights again, finally. I enjoyed the small congregation very much. Most of them suffered damage to their homes, but that didn’t stop them from hosting events for Emily C. Watkins and raising awareness. They said, ‘life goes on’ and stepped up. They are a terrific group.

The church recently offered a helping hand to another congregation in the area by providing worship space for Carla Caesar’s ministry, From My Heart to Yours.

Other outreach activities include the church’s annual Trunk of Treat, which was offered as a drive-thru after Hurricane Ida. According to Hickman, the church hopes to offer a basketball clinic for local children in the future.

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