Three Waverly groups connected to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will come together on Sunday, Sept. 8, to celebrate the ELCA’s “God’s Work, Our Hands” event by serving the community, worshipping together and enjoying fellowship. Across the country, thousands of ELCA members will be engaging in service work to make a positive change in their communities, build relationships and share God’s love.

Wartburg College students, faculty and staff, plus members of Redeemer Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church & School, will start the day’s celebration at 9 a.m. with a joint worship service with Holy Communion at Wartburg Chapel on the Wartburg College campus. Pastors Corey Smith (Redeemer), Arthur Bergren (St. Paul’s) and Brian Beckstrom (Wartburg) will all participate. Loose cash in the day’s offering will be donated to Wartburg’s campus ministry.

Following the worship service and a short time of fellowship, the event continues with several service projects around the community, including meal packing, assembling school kits and flood buckets, rolling bandages, washing fire trucks and tying quilts.

“’God’s Work, Our Hands’ is a great opportunity for our three ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to come together and make a public witness to God’s love,” said Bergren.

The event also serves to introduce Wartburg students to members of Waverly’s ELCA congregations. In a recent review of the college’s campus ministry program, students expressed a desire to worship more with local congregations. Beckstrom, in his role as Wartburg’s dean of spiritual life, has worked to increase emphasis on spiritual outreach beyond campus.

“Spiritual Life & Campus Ministry is called by the Holy Spirit to be a unifying presence on campus and within the body of Christ. ‘God’s Work, Our Hands’ is one of the most important ways that we live out this calling,” said Beckstrom.

The Sept. 8 activities will further encourage students to build connections off-campus with local churches. Online registration for the event is at All are welcome to register and participate.

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.5 million members in nearly 9,300 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s Work, Our Hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.