La Grange students take ministry to the streets
Seventh-graders Savannah Strasser and Marc Anthony Marquez take a break from packing meals to be shipped to Africa through Feed My Starving Children as a service project of students at St. John’s Lutheran School in La Grange. | Courtesy of Lynn Kahl
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:05AM
LA GRANGE — Answered prayer may be in store for neighbors of St. John’s Lutheran School.
Following an all-school chapel service, students hit the streets Jan. 30 and surround nearby homes with a blanket of prayer.
In addition to standing on corners to pray for residents of the block, students planned to deliver door-hangers to each house inviting people to submit prayer requests to the church and school online at www.sjlagrange.com/
“We’ve gotten amazing feedback from the neighbors,” said Principal Lynn Kahl. “Some of the stories are heart-wrenching. If we think mission work or caring is just for the inner city of Chicago or Africa, we’re missing the needs in our own back yard.”
The prayer walk and a number of other programs and activities are part of Lutheran Schools Week showcasing what St. John offers to its 179 students.
Kahl said the school features a nurturing and supportive atmosphere, a foundation of faith and abundant opportunities for service.
“We have to be as good as public schools and give families something extra,” she said. “Our class sizes are small. We have aides and programs to help in all ranges of the spectrum of learning, and we’re doing that in a loving Christian environment.”
Kahl is particularly proud of the Eagles in Action program, with different service projects chosen by each grade level.
Eighth-graders contributed the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs program and hosted Zippy in training with eighth-grade teacher Shelley Janowski in November and December, before Zippy was assigned to a church in Roselle.
“In November, the fourth-graders developed Community Cocoa. They went out to downtown La Grange and served cocoa to anybody,” Kahl said.
Kindergarten students raised money to combat malaria in Africa. First-graders chose to support the CareNet Pregnancy Center in Downers Grove. Other projects include packing meals for the hungry in Africa, serving adults with special needs, supporting cancer victims and conducting a coat drive.
“The kids know that as they get older there’s more they can do and more places they can go, like a soup kitchen in the Pilsen neighborhood,” Kahl said.
Lutheran Schools Week also is an opportunity for kids to have fun dressing according to a different theme and going on field trips.
“If we are the hands and feet of Jesus here on earth, we don’t have to wait to be an adult to serve others,” Kahl said.