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Happy New Year to all!

Wow, we finally placed 2020 in our rearview mirror, only to be remembered by its mountainous and dreadful impact on individual and community public health as well as the economy we rely upon. I, for one, am pleased to be focusing my attention on the “things from above” and not particularly, the things of this world. To say that I’ve come to appreciate and perhaps even celebrate the “little things” is an understatement. Just spending an hour gazing at the Pacific Ocean on a rather warm, December day was thrilling. Returning to our houses of worship is another of those blessings that “keeps on giving”.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we learned and, in fact, benefitted from virtual exchange and e-communications. We were able to stay in contact more readily, and often more frequently through this means with people across the country and in our communities. I actually began to think that I was more productive electronically than face-to-face meetings afforded. Seems time management was heightened through this process, if nothing else. Clearly, being able to worship with Rev. LB Tatum at New Hope, Jamaica Queens, New York and then Rev. Dr. Albert Starr at Bethel Lutheran, South Chicago followed by either Olivet, Holy Trinity, Messiah, Chapel of Peace, or Community all before noon was a treat, in and of itself.

Yes, the evolution of electronic visual communication (or Zoom) has me wondering… why I didn’t invest in this modality in 2018? Seriously, it’s now 2021 and we are to be guided by what’s in front of us – our worldly windshield – rather than what is behind us, the rearview mirror of our past existence.

In a week or so, we will come together once again through the technological wonder called Zoom to worship and give thanks and praise for the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have a phenomenal worship service planned with great participation from across the synod. You can find the “trailer” on the Synod’s website and/or Synews, highlighting the worship service and its tribute to Dr. King. Please plan on being present to receive your blessing as we look back in history but forward in our conviction and dedication to the cause of equality for all!

Equally, positioned in our windshield of possibilities is our celebration of God’s presence in our lives as we give homage and respect to those whose lives paved a path for us to follow; from the cradle of civilization – Africa – to the residencies from which we find ourselves; the corporate offices, the halls of Congress and even the “people’s house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” We will be coming together to celebrate Black History Month and corresponding our ELCA tribute to The Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout with the naming of the Lutheran Center Chapel, in his honor. This, too, will be a sight to see!

Our first quarter of 2021 is bright with opportunities and beaming with possibilities. We are God’s people, chosen for “Such a Time as This” - Esther 4:14b. There are no limits in Christ Jesus: “All things are possible to him/her who believes” - Mark 9:23.

Welcome to the New Year and may our work in and through ADLA – Los Angeles be fruitful and meaningful to all those for whom we are called to serve!

Carolyn Foster

President, ADLA – Los Angeles


Key Dates to Remember:

January 17, 2021 @ 3P – Tribute to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (e-contact worship service information to follow)

Black History Month, February 2021

February 4th week – (Date to follow) – Tribute to The Rev. Dr. Nelson W. Trout @ Lutheran Center

ADLA Membership Drive Concludes, March 31, 2021

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Easter Morning ~ Making all things New!

Easter has marshaled into being the month of April with Holy Week carrying us from the end of March into the first days of the second quarter of the year. Passover also commenced the last week in March reminding us of the Holy Spirit’s travels in and among God’s people as they marked their doors acknowledging and declaring their faith. So, in what ways are we marking our faith’s journey?

As members of ADLA, we declare our faith through the actions we commit ourselves to in the service of others. This quarter, while restricted due to the pandemic, we were able to enter into an agreement with My Friends House (MFH) to help sponsor hygiene kits to those who call Skid Row home. On May 24th, Pentecost Sunday, those assembled hygiene kits will be distributed at the Church of the Nazarene (5th and San Pedro) bringing “the Spirit’s” newness to those lives we touch.

Did you know, that at MFH more than 150 persons every Wednesday are able to receive a week’s worth of groceries and often quality clothing? These items strengthen their ability to survive while helping to restore their dignity as a person. Many ADLA members are volunteers at MFH and are extending their gifts of service weekly with much love and care. Getting to know those who seek assistance from MFH by their name is a gift of immeasurable proportion. You can serve as well, just let us know your intentions and we can guide you through the process of being a volunteer.

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Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Social distancing and stay-at-home criteria have caused some diminishment in our ability to be overly proactive. We have not been able to distribute our annual hygiene products to Skid Row, although, we have amassed bags of supplies for this purpose. We were able to continue our efforts in securing eyeglasses to be recycled and issued to those in need. And, yes, we produced another 7lbs of pull-tabs, delivering them to Ronald McDonald House in Long Beach. To date, we have recycled 71lbs or 80,900 individual tabs! Whew…

Certainly, we are most proud of our January 2021 e-worship service in tribute to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that by all accounts was phenomenally received and served as a grand opportunity to praise and honor God for His work in and through the life of Dr. King. Many have said that even next year’s service should be virtual or e-based because of its ability to reach so many people nationwide. There were nearly 1,000 views of the worship service, realizing that in many cases, two or three people may well have viewed it together, which would have made individual viewing that much more significant in number. It was, unquestionably, a powerful witness!

Arising from this e-experience, we agreed as an association to advance our web-based capabilities to be more in-line with the visual display demonstrated by the King celebration production. With that in mind, we agreed to raise funds to revamp our website and to offer a brand new platform for user review and ultimate appreciation. This new platform will be interactive and shall be updated with reasonable frequency. The new platform should be on-line by May 2021.

Just last week, ADLA received from the Office of ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal their heartfelt thanks for the $2,500 that was donated in support of Lutheran Disaster Relief. Here again this year we’ve witnessed flooding in the Midwest and severe winter storms on the eastern seaboard. We pray that these resources will extend some level of relief and restoration for those hard hit. We also recently forwarded to Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS) a check in the amount of $1,700 in support of the children held as detainees at our southwest borders. Some 700 children are being housed in quarters designed for less than half of that number, detained for weeks on end. We pray that this gift as well will have significance. We, as an association, shall endeavor to do more, for we can do no less!

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