Walking Taco Stand Raises Church’s Profile in Community2 min read

Like many other towns in Michigan, the City of Leslie holds a Christmas parade every year—and actually calls it “Christmas Parade.”  The high school marching band, Girl and Boy Scouts, and any vehicle on wheels that can be decked out with Christmas lights is in the parade. A lot of people come to enjoy the parade and it is a lot of fun for the community.

The town has many working poor who need help with food, so the City operates its own food bank. On the night of the Christmas Parade, Grace Lutheran Church set up a booth on the parade route and “sold” walking tacos for the price of a donation. A walking taco is made by putting a scoop of taco meat into an individual serving size bag of Fritos. We also provided sour cream, cheese and salsa. A total of approximately $65 was raised during the two hours the taco stand was open, and all money went to the Leslie Food Bank. We were pleased with the response for a first- time event, and plan to do it again next year.


For Christmas, Grace Lutheran also had a giving tree for a family we adopted. The family is a 68-year-old grandmother who is raising her two grandchildren, twin boy and girl. Christmas gift ideas supplied by the grandmother were placed on the giving tree. Interested members would take a tag from the tree, purchase the gift, wrap and return it to the church. The coordinator of the giving tree, Barb Fenningsdorf, delivered the gifts with the help of members Greg Denkins and Dewey Kunkle.

We have adopted this family for a year. A basket for food donations will remain in our narthex throughout the year. Members of Grace will place food items in the basket. The family will be notified when a full basket is ready for them.


Finally, on Saturday, February 14, Grace will be hosting a Southern Gospel concert. Price of admission will be a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Leslie Food Bank.

The goal of these activities is to raise the profile of Grace Lutheran Church in the Leslie community. Our inspiration is Acts 10:38: “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and how he went around doing good….” People may not understand or care about the teachings and practices of a particular Christian church. But they do understand and appreciate good when they see it being done. We believe that by doing good we will earn the right to be heard by our neighbors when we communicate the Gospel.

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About the Author

Rev. Michael Martin is a 1979 graduate of Concordia Theological seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN. He retired from the Michigan Department of Corrections on February 14, 2014 after serving for 13 years as an institutional chaplain; the last twenty years he served as the MDOC’s religious programs coordinator. He was installed as Grace Lutheran’s pastor on May 18 and serves the congregation part-time.

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