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Carl Love: How Temecula’s faiths joined together to build a Lutheran church

By in Press Enterprise on December 23, 2017

By Carl Love

Sandy Bentz has the perfect story for this holiday time of good will toward all.

She’s the minister of Hope Lutheran Church in Temecula, a congregation of about 225 that has been without a permanent home for almost three years. Church members have rented space in a business park – unfortunately a common practice around here – while waiting for their new home to be finished.

Painful for sure, but worshipers from other local faiths made it less so by rallying to help the Lutherans.

Members of Grace Presbyterian Church of Temecula hosted joint Easter and Christmas worship services with the church for the past couple years.

Hope Lutheran parishioners partnered with Temecula United Methodist Church worshipers to offer summer vacation Bible school.

Members of the Temecula Church of Jesus Christ of latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, opened their doors and invited the Lutherans to host a huge memorial service and luncheon for one of Hope Lutheran’s longtime members.

Members of other faiths help Hope Lutheran Church in Temecula with the landscaping at its new facility that will soon open.

Finally, the Hope members faced the daunting task of landscaping. More than 1,600 plants and irrigation lines had to be placed. A daunting task indeed – until Bentz received an email with the subject line, “The Mormons are coming!”

About 100 Mormons showed up on two different days to help with the arduous tasks. Members of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley also assisted.

All these good deeds for people of another faith go beyond the religious tolerance that – thankfully – more and more faiths strive for today. This goes to an even better place.

In this era when so many elements of our society seem to be coming apart, it’s refreshing to see people of different faiths coming together.

At the recent night of gratitude hosted by the Interfaith […]    

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