From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutheran Vespers Gears up for Wangerin Bike Journey

From News News <NEWS@ELCA.ORG>
Date Fri, 24 May 2002 13:23:10 -0500


May 24, 2002


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The staff of Lutheran Vespers, the radio
ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has
announced details of a journey that will take the program's speaker on a
bicycle trip through seven states beginning in August.
     The Rev. Walt Wangerin Jr.'s bike trip, "OutSpoken for Lutheran
Vespers," is aimed at increasing listener participation, thanking
volunteers and station personnel who help keep the program on the air,
and raising funds for the ministry, said Susan V. Greeley,
director/producer for Lutheran Vespers, ELCA Department for
     Lutheran Vespers is a 30-minute weekly radio program featuring
Wangerin, which airs on 235 stations.  It reaches an estimated 3 million
to 4 million listeners a year in the United States, Africa, Australia,
Europe, Guam and Puerto Rico. ELCA missionaries also receive copies of
the program.
     OutSpoken for Lutheran Vespers will take Wangerin and his bicycle
through parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.  It will begin with a formal send-off at the
biennial ELCA Communicators Consultation here Aug. 18 and conclude Oct.
20 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Schaumburg, Ill.  Along the way
Wangerin will participate in 24 planned rallies and several photo
opportunities at radio stations that air Lutheran Vespers.
     Each rally will include remarks by Wangerin, music, devotions and
acknowledgment of Lutheran Vespers supporters.
     "The wonderful part of radio ministry is that Walt is able to
reach so many people at once," Greeley said. "But for him it can also be
somewhat lonely, because he never sees his listeners.  The bike ride
gives both him and Lutheran Vespers listeners some personal time
together, which is good for everyone."
     It's important for Wangerin and the staff to make "personal
connections" with listeners and donors, Greeley said.
     "These people are not only our audience, they are the ones who
keep the program on the air," she said. "In a very real sense, this is
their ministry because Lutheran Vespers is listener-funded.  We look
forward to thanking many of them in person."
     Wangerin receives numerous invitations to speak and lecture each
year and has to turn down many of them because of his writing and
teaching schedule.  The rallies throughout the bike trip will give
people an opportunity to hear and meet Wangerin, Greeley said.
     Much of the funding for the trip came from a significant financial
gift to the ministry, Greeley said.  All regular contributions are used
to produce and distribute the program, she said.
     Outspoken for Lutheran Vespers rallies are scheduled as follows:
     + Wisconsin: Aug. 18, Kenosha; Aug. 21, Hartford; Aug. 22, Green
Bay; Aug. 24, Appleton; Aug. 27, Mauston; Aug. 29, Viroqua; and Aug. 31,
Rice Lake.
     + Minnesota: Sept. 4, Minneapolis; Sept. 7, Willmar; Sept. 3,
Fergus Falls; Sept. 11, Moorhead; and Sept. 19, Marshall.
     + North Dakota: Sept. 16, Grand Forks.
     + South Dakota: Sept. 21, Sioux Falls.
     + Nebraska: Sept. 23, Fremont; and Sept. 25, Omaha.
     + Iowa: Sept. 30, Des Moines; Oct. 2, Grinnell; Oct. 5, Ottumwa;
and Oct. 9, Cedar Rapids.
     + Illinois: Oct. 13, Princeton; Oct. 16, Peoria; Oct. 18,
Rockford; and Oct. 20, Schaumburg.
     On the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United
States, Sept. 11, a special program and rally will take place in the
Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn, area.  It will be held at  held at Concordia
College, an ELCA higher education institution in Moorhead.
-- -- --
     Information about OutSpoken for Lutheran Vespers will be available
at on the ELCA's Web site.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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