‘You’re welcome!’ Two words frequently heard in cities and towns across Australia and New Zealand, as the Longest Lutheran Lunch brought communities together in fellowship and celebration.

This year’s theme was a timely reminder that the focus of this annual celebration is the people who are normally found on the outside of our church doors, not on the inside. It is a way of welcoming friends, neighbours and even strangers to step across the threshold.

Lutheran schools are also embracing the idea with enthusiasm: each year more schools join the fun—like the 420 students at Redeemer Lutheran School in Nuriootpa, South Australia (pictured above). While the students (or their parents) are loyal supporters of the original LLL, this Long Lunch line was a chance to bond with student buddies over lunchboxes packed with lamb or lamingtons (and a great way to get their photo published in The Lutheran). Thanks for our headline, Redeemer!

What a wonderful way to welcome people to church! Our Redeemer at Warracknabeal, Victoria, held its Long Lunch around tables extending out from the church doors (left). After lunch it was time for guessing games and the making of the Longest Loom Band (above), which stretched for a mighty 26.4 metres. Now that’s a useful mission tool for binding the generations together … Vol 48 No11 P354

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