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One of the things that most excites me about Lutheran Hour Ministries is the endless opportunities to share the message of Christ with a world that desperately needs to hear it. That is why I look forward to seeing the LHM float in the Rose Parade each year as the only Christian presence in the parade. As a self-funded project of the Southern California District of the International Lutheran Laymen's League (Int'l LLL) and the Lutheran Hour Ministries Float Committee, the float provides a Gospel witness to viewers everywhere, from along the parade route in California to tens of millions of televisions all around the world.

I was privileged to be asked to ride on the LHM float during the 2022 Rose Parade. Arriving in Pasadena I had high expectations. As I reflect on my time, it is without a doubt that the experience exceeded my expectations. I am in awe of the thousands of volunteers, known as the Petal Pushers, who worked tirelessly day and night in often challenging conditions to make the stunning and impactful LHM float and nine others a reality. Witnessing firsthand the painstaking and meticulous attention to detail that is necessary to build these floats is something I did not completely comprehend until seeing it in person. Being a part of cutting stems, placing roses on foam palettes, carrying the palettes to the allocated float, placing the appropriate flowers into their section on the float, applying small beans and other natural materials to create text and logos, and so much more is something I will never forget.

It was also inspiring to hear the stories from volunteers who came from across the country about why they wanted to participate in this experience. For many this was a "bucket list" item-the fulfillment of a childhood dream-after watching the parade on television for many decades. For others it was the opportunity to share their faith as they worked side-by-side with people from various backgrounds while conducting their tasks throughout the week between Christmas and New Year's. No matter what brought them together it was clear they had the same goal-to be part of creating the magic that would roll down Pasadena's Colorado Boulevard on January 1.

Both before the parade and as I rode on the float along the five-and-a-half-mile parade route, I was grateful for the opportunity to spread the Gospel message with millions of people worldwide that "Jesus Teaches," a message as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. It was invigorating to observe the vast majority of spectators along the parade route excitedly cheering us on. Children and adults were quick to wave and eagerly yell 'Jesus' as we passed by. In a world that often seems to be gravitating more towards division rather than unity, it was refreshing to see people coming together for a common purpose and celebrating the joy that comes with knowing Jesus.

As Chairman of the LHM Board of Directors, I know that I speak for the entire organization in thanking the Petal Pushers, Southern California LLL District, and Lutheran Hour Ministries Float Committee for their amazing and dedicated efforts as together we are Bringing Christ to the Nations-and the Nations to the Church!

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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