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CONNECTED Inspiring stories, ideas and resources to help you connect with your communiuty

ples Feat uring exam from t he 2011 Lunch n a r e h t u L t s e Long

CONNECTED Inspiring stories, ideas and resources

An Overview . ........................................... i

Creative ideas . ........................................... i

Cultural themes . ........................................... i

Community engagement . ........................................... i

School focus . ........................................... i

More ideas . ........................................... i

Global justice . ........................................... i

Web-based resources . ........................................... i


OPERATION CONNECT { and the Longest Lutheran Lunch }

Hospitality is a gift we Lutherans have always offered our communities. Indeed, Martin Luther regularly brought people together around food and wine for his famous ‘Table Talk’. Much of Jesus’ interaction with people happened around food too.

Masterchef. My Kitchen Rules. Poh’s Kitchen. Jamie, Nigella … seems our lives are full of food and foodies.

Yet we Lutherans have been doing great food ‘forever’. That’s why to launch Operation Connect (the Lutheran Church’s hospitality initiative) you and your congregaOperation Connect offers you resources to use tion are invited to hold a Longest Lutheran Lunch.

hospitality to connect with family, friends and The dream is to have the ‘longest’ in three ways: community. The Longest Lutheran Lunch held on Sunday 30 October 2011 as entrée to give you a taste, with the main course of Operation Connect Bon appétit!

1. Sit at tables set out in a single long row 2. Take your time and have a long leisurely meal 3. Have meals going the long way from New Zealand right across Australia to finish in Western Australia!


an ‘L’ of a good time {Tuggeranong, NSW }

If you like liberal lashings of lentil salad with your leg of lamb, you would have loved Tuggeranong’s Longest Lutheran Lunch. Good Shepherd Community Church, Tuggeranong, lacked no creativity when deciding on a theme for their lunch. The south Canberra congregation took it literally and decided all food had to begin with L. Congregation member Jacqui Tepper came up with the theme and wrote a poem to entice people to come along.About 35 congregation members of all ages enjoyed a selection of lasagnes, lettuce, lentils, loaves of bread, legs of lamb, lemon desserts and

lemonade. Congregation member Sharon Stephan said the theme allowed for one loophole. ‘If the food didn’t start with L, we decided we would still accept it if it was made with love’, said Sharon. Sharon said the lunch provided the perfect opportunity for congregation members to take time out and get to know each other better. ‘It’s so important to sit down and share a meal together because that’s when you relax and really open up’, she said. ‘You learn a lot about what’s going on in other people’s lives.

bear-ing it all { Box Hill, Vic }

We’ve just celebrated the Commemoration of It was great fun and a way of affirming our identity the Reformation, some of us by participating in as Lutherans and sharing it with others. The Longest Lutheran Lunch. I hope we can continue such events as real openings It was a really wonderful day at the for those we can invite who otherwise would not be so congregation in which I worshipped and comfortable participating in worship at this point celebrated, with a lot of Lutheran people and in their lives. paraphernalia as well – even Luther dolls, a Lutheran beanie bear (actually a ‘Holy Bear’ with Luther That’s the goal of Operation Connect of which the rose embroidered on its chest) and my own picture Longest Lutheran Lunch is the first instalment. of Luther set up in a vacant chair at our table! Pastor Greg Pietsch (Vic District President)

Lobethal, SA came a accross a bit of a snag in the planning for their Longest Lutheran Lunch a sausage many metres long kept these cooks busy. Guests were occupied my several “longest” games

Angaston, SA really got creative by celebrating the “Wurst” Lutheran Lunch that turned out to be a great family day with people from the very young to more mature.

Rochedale, Qld expanded on an old Aussie favourite by producing a record breaking longest lutheran lamington. By the look of it they got a definite thumbs up from these three young lads.

Moorabbin, Vic went to great lengths to create a Long food theme with... long spaghetti, long bread stick, long chocolate roll, and even a long luncher: John from America at 6’4”


Deutsch Style { Redeemer, Toowoomba, Qld }

The weather was perfection plus the date was opti- Pastor Christian Fandrich started the festivities mum. Market umbrellas and gazebo canvases were with grace in German. up and the checked tablecloths flapping on the lonOur masterchefs rolled out glazed ham, BBQ fillet, gest table gracing our church lawn. boerwurst, Aussie Sauerkraut, baked Kartoffeln, Redeemer Lutheran Church Toowoomba was ready Broetchen, Apfel Strudel, Streusel Kartoffelkuchen to celebrate Reformation Day, during family week, and black forest cake. Quite a feast! with the Longest Lutheran Lunch. Members of the congregation were initially a bit daunted that they We had a rollicking good time Deutsch style, with the may have to sit around for a very long time being best costumes and impressive biersteins competing convivial, but were interested to hear it was all to do for prizes. Pastor Kevin Kotzur almost scored 100% in the Martin Luther quiz and together we sang songs with time zones. accompanied by the small oompah band.

Chinese Style { Botany, Auckland, NZ }

Vicar Tat Tsui, minister to the Chinese congregation at Botany in Auckland, had been ecstatic with excitement in the build-up for the Longest Lutheran Lunch. He anticipated great creativity from his people as they brought dishes to share for lunch that reflected the Reformation -- perhaps egg salads representing new life, or dishes with 95 ingredients

Vicar Tat says that the Chinese congregation at Botany can rightfully claim the title of having the ‘longest Longest Lutheran Lunch’. ‘We celebrate Lutheran meals at every possible moment, so we can claim for ourselves the “longest” Lutheran meal because we are kind of eating all the time!’

Thankfully, Vicar Tat did not follow through on And of course there would also be all the usual dish- his much-publicised threat to preach the Longest es that feature at Botany fellowship lunches: sweet Lutheran Sermon on this day. But true to the theme and sour pork, Peking duck, black-bean sauce beef, of the day, he spoke about food and how it helps us to understand the gospel. egg fu yong, fried rice, spring rolls...

The three-congregation parish - Kapunda, Allen’s Creek and Bethel - spared not a pretzel when it came to preparing the lavish spread, which included platters of mettwurst, sour cucumbers, crackers, cheese and a German summer herb dip.

Buccleuch, SA are a little rural congregation with a great spirit. They also demonstrated true deutsch pedigree with what would have to be the littlest lederhosen - well done.

Waikerie, SA ecouldn’t contain their excitement for their German food and fun, in fact it was so big they had to take over the local basketball stadium ... a slam-dunk of an idea.

Cowell, SA held a longest meal in their hall decorated in the colours of Saxony with sayings of Martin Luther pinned around the room, a German Bible and various books by Martin Luther on display. Geraniums brightened the tables.


Botanic Gardens { Gladstone, Qld }

We moved our usual 8.30 am lunch to a 10.00 am service in the nearby Tondoon Botanic Gardens. After the service we had some games and quizzes, and a game of cricket was underway all through the day. Then we had a sausage sizzle for lunch, with people bringing along salads and desserts to share (in the usual Lutheran extremely large quantity!)

outside, good fellowship and finishing up with a barbie together. A great time was had by all.

As an aside, many people were walking through the gardens during our service, and one couple stopped to film us for a while, and then went and sat down behind us and had their picnic while watching our service. We took the opportunity to give them a service order so they could join in, and they stayed We wanted a local Central Queensland celebration, and chatted at the end. Made us reflect on the valwhich is why we went for outside in the gardens ue of getting out there and witnessing with what (great weather always up here), cricket and games we do.

the right note { Narraweena, NSW }

Community outreach can be daunting and disheartening, especially if no-one turns up. But for Redeemer Lutheran Church, Narraweena, guests outnumbered members at their Aussie barbeque lunch. Coordinator, Sally Bradford, said it was a huge success.

One guest, Jan Elliott, said it was wonderful to speak with such welcoming people. ‘A great way to spend a Sunday,’ she said. Church members catered for the barbeque, with a range of side dishes and desserts from nearly every continent, reflecting the Sydney congregation’s multicultural make-up.

‘At first we were a bit reluctant to extend ourselves, but we went ahead with the attitude “if you invite them they will come!” and we left the rest to the Lord’, said Sally. ‘Over half of the 70 people at lunch were invited guests and not regular church-goers.’

But food was not the only highlight. Three-piece band JAM ( Just Add Music), led by church member and guitarist Denis Moore along with David Jack and Amanda Robinson, entertained the crowd with favourites from the 60s and 70s. Some were inspired to do a bit of dancing.

Manawatu parish, NZ engaged with their local community by holding a lunch in their retirement village ‘Sommerset’ as an outreach project including all ages.

Epping, NSW Community Life Group organises four events to engage people each year and this just was perfect timing – not too much work and well attended. We will definitely do this again next year and it will get even quirkier” .

Tauranga, NZ Just over 40 people came from far and wide (16 from Hamilton -- eleven arriving in a mini-bus -- two from Whakatane and four from Kawerau) to join the Longest Lutheran Lunch at the Carmel Country Community Centre.

Birdwood, SA joined with members of the extended Kowald family - celebrating a reunion. Consequently our longest lunch stretched from the east to the west of Australia, and included our Canadian relative and encompassed family members who were strangers’’ before the day.


class action { Nuriootpa, SA }

‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if the whole school got ‘What if we didn’t just invite other students, but also members of the local congregation or retirement involved? Imagine how long the table would be!’ village to come, too ... With the lunch boxes not yet empty, Year 6 and 7 students at Nuriootpa’s Redeemer Lutheran School ‘I think this event has the potential to be very in the Barossa Valley were already imagining what powerful in assisting students and Lutheran schools next year’s Longest Lutheran Lunch might look to build conenctions with the church and the community.’ like. And so was one of their teachers, Darren Altus, whose idea it was to hold a Longest Lutheran Lunch at Redeemer. Hearing a student dream of a lunch involving the whole school got him thinking:

Johann, a student, said, ‘The long lunch brought everyone together It was amazing to look down the entire length of the table ... it was really long. Everyone seemed to be talking and having a good time.’

hats off to you { Everton Hills, Qld }

used the event to focus on the hunger crisis on the Horn of Africa. Each place setting was marked with a coloured placemat explaining how much food a person in Dadaab Refugee Camp might receive, togehter with other sombre information. A donaStudents and staff were invited to dress up in a tion box was passed around to collect gold coins for fancy hat or tie and bring their lunch to sit together Australian Lutheran World Service’s Africa Famine at the long tables placed together in the campus’s Appeal. Over $500 was raised. forecourt. ‘The Longest Lutheran Lunch has been a great And while plenty of money changed hands in the opportunity for us here at Prince of Peace’, said course of the lunch, this had nothing with horser- Libby Farmer, Head of Pastoral Care and Welfare. acing or gambling. Instead, the lunch organisers At Prince of Peace Lutheran College (Senior Campus), Everton Hills, Brisbane, the Longest Lunch Lunch was also a late Lutheran lunch, held on Tuesday, 1 November -- Melbourne Cup Day.

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on your bike! { Woodside, SA }

Sundays are a gift. Every waking day is a gift, but this particular Sunday seemed to be wrapped up especially for those with the outdoors on their mind: sunny, 20 degrees, blue skies and a cool breeze – perfect cycling weather. People were busy checking bicycle tyres, brakes and helmets. They were busy donning sunscreen and packing picnic lunches. They were happily busy, all in readiness for the Longest Lunch celebration, hailed as ‘Eat Walk Ride’ in the Adelaide Hills town of Woodside.

At St John’s Lutheran Church, Pastor Steve Liersch led a combined parish service focusing on the idea of a ‘new era with God’. He said that as the Israelites entered their new era to the Promised Land ( Joshua 3:1-17), so too did we enter a new era of Christianity, come Reformation day. This year’s Reformation Day celebrations also marked a new era for the Onkaparinga Parish, as they extended an invitation not only to their own members but to the entire community to come and enjoy lunch, guest speakers and a bike ride or stroll along the Amy Gillett Bikeway.

bridging the gap { Murray Bridge, SA }

A group of eight enthusiastic volunteers, headed by Ron Jericho, took a big swing at the word, ‘hospitality’ - not only did they plan to provide a “… proper, sit down, knife and fork, hot luncheon”, as Ron put it, but they also sent out almost 400 invitations! It was clear, from the outset that this was going to be true hospitality in bulk and would require coordination and cooperation. The invitations were sent out to all Lutheran bodies in the area; Concordia Kindergarten, Murray Bridge Lutheran Homes Retirement Village, Lutheran Community Care, Unity College,

Christ Church Lutheran, Holy Cross Lutheran and Zion Monarto Lutheran. Ron said they drew their inspirations from the Operation Connect website, and literally tried to implement as much as possible from its many resources. Their main aim was to connect all Lutheran entities in their district through pure and simple hospitality. The morning’s service was held in the Unity College steeple, which can seat up to 400 people and with more than half of the invitations accepted already, it was just as well. Pastor Dean Zweck from Australian Lutheran College was the guest preacher.

Ropeley, Qld invited people in the surrounding area to join us for a BBQ lunch and were fortunate enough to have 10 non-members accept their invitation. A great day was enjoyed by all.

Pastor Tom and Chairman Greg Schulz went door-to-door visiting the residents of South Kilkerran, SA inviting them to lunch during the week preceding the event – to their delight, they had an overwhelmingly positive response.

Pinnaroo Lutheran Parish, SA consisting of Pinnaroo, Murrayville and Walpeup congregations decided to invite the community to share lunch with them at the Pinnaroo football club, then stay for a quiz.

Aberfoyle Park, SA held a “Community BBQ Fun Day”, on our school oval, next to the church. The third community “Connect” event this year. Around 450 people came to the day, with a good mix of school, church and wider community. We were blessed with great weather for the day

whole parish { Pittsworth, Qld }

On Sunday, 30 October, members of neighbouring Darling Downs parishes Pittsworth and Oakey gathered at St Peter’s in Pittsworth to celebrate the Longest Lutheran Lunch in true Lutheran style.

A general worship service featuring the parish band, Soul Connection, got the day off to a great start, and this was followed by a communal luncheon in the church grounds and a special ‘Q and A’ session.

The lunch consisted of a variety of traditional German foods, including sauerkraut, wurst and kuchen, which was prepared by members of the congregations. ‘The day was an affirmation of the Lutheran Church as family’, Pastor Lionel said. There has The theme of the day was ‘be part of the banquet been wonderful feedback following the event, with that lasts forever by feasting on the word and many expressing that it was like a family event enjoyed by all. sacrament’. There was a great turnout on the day, with 135 people from the six congregations (Millmerran, Yandilla, Pittsworth, Nobby, Oakey and Norwin) attending.

most isolated { Kalgoolie, WA }

WHILE it is at least four hours from the next closest Lutheran church, the congregation of St Paul’s in Kalgoorlie-Boulder was determined not to let its isolation be a barrier to participating in the inaugural Longest Lutheran Lunch event. St Paul’s, in the heart of Western Australia’s Goldfields region, is served by Esperance-based Pastor Paul Kramer for one weekend a month which the congregation celebrates by sharing a meal, so organising to be part of the October 30 event was relatively simple.

“We thought that you could not do lunches all the way across from New Zealand to Perth without going through the Goldfields so we needed to be involved,” St Paul’s member Karen Crouch said. The Kalgoorlie-Boulder congregation kept the event to a casual theme, with a barbecue and pool party hosted by congregational chairman Wayne Astill and wife Sue. Some study questions helped to keep the conversation flowing over lunch, while an African Food Basket that featured during the meal was a real talking point.

“There was so much food on the table that we didn’t St Paul’s is made up of about 15 families, including two families from Papua New Guinneed to eat dinner that night,” Karen said. ea and two from Zimbabwe. It recently hosted About 25 people attended the event, with a strong a PNG Mission Festival as part of its activities. contingent of children and teenagers among the diners. The younger patrons also braved a dip in the The next nearest Lutheran church is in Esperance, pool, despite the temperature of 20oC being well 400km south. Kalgoorlie-Boulder is about 600km east of Perth. below Kalgoorlie’s summertime maximums.



FILLING THE GAP { South Sudan }

Our Longest Lutheran Lunch – and, yes, we did The person you connect with might be living next celebrate it – was pumpkin leaves, stew with a meat door. Or a colleague at work. Or the quiet couple at that might have been beef, beans and ugali (a stiff bowls. maize porridge you cut with a knife). Or they might be the lady I met yesterday in a South Torit is on the way to Ikotos, where drought and Sudan village, whose child had died unexpectedly. conflict force people to survive without food pro- And who for seven months of the year does not duction for months each year. They call this the know what she will feed her surviving children. For many of us, that person might be our own ‘hunger gap’. kids or grandchildren, maybe even our life partner Through Australian Lutheran World Ser- – people we love with all our heart who don’t yet vice (ALWS), Lutherans from Australia and know the love of Jesus as we do. New Zealand are helping to fill this gap. Together we’ve provided seeds, tools and bore-holes The Longest Lutheran Lunch is not meant to end and training for farmers. Because of your action, when the last crumbs are brushed from the table and the dishes washed and dried. I hope that in families here will have a ‘lunch’, too. the months to come, each one of us can find ways All this might seem a long way from your Longest to connect more closely and deeply with our comLutheran Lunch. Yet, as the church of Jesus in this munity, our family and our neighbours. You’re welworld, we seek to be a community where people are come to visit for ideas and action-starters. welcomed with friendship, hospitality and care. Food gives us a simple way to connect with people My prayer is that this year’s Longest Lutheran and helps us understand people’s deeper needs and Lunch has given you the taste of a church where love comes to life — the first course of the heavenly real hunger. banquet to which we’re all invited.

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THE O.C. webSITE { Dig in and discover more }

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