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Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Indianola, Iowa, has begun incorporating LHM materials in its programs and activities. Members Jeret and Caroline Koenig were introduced to LHM around 10 years ago by another member at Mount Calvary. Since they were interested in our materials and how they could be used within their congregation, the Koenigs reached out to become LHM Ambassadors. They believe in LHM's mission and see the potential to reach individuals with LHM resources. The Koenigs have been involved in different variations of serving in their congregation over the years and currently serve on the evangelism board. Below is a glance at how LHM materials have been incorporated into some of Mount Calvary's recent programs and activities.

During the pilot sessions of the small group program, five couples and their children read through The Spiritually Vibrant Home, a book based on Households of Faith research done in partnership with Barna Group. Taking one chapter at a time, the group discussions lasted six months. "This book was a great transition from other books we had previously covered in our small group," says Jeret. "It built on concepts we were familiar with and was an easy, manageable read that was recommended to us by LHM staff."

Couples in small groups took turns hosting at their homes. Together they shared a meal, discussed the book, had a Bible study, prayed, and enjoyed fellowship with one another. "Reading this book helped reinforce the need for more spiritual relationships, faith sharing, and caring for those around us in our everyday lives," says Caroline.

This study prompted one member to make family meals around the dinner table a priority in his household. The small group and other congregation members have made an effort to help serve the needs of their community. "Our group will continue to meet monthly, and we will start doing service projects from time to time," says Jeret. "We also plan on visiting some homebound members in the congregation and branching out into the local community."

The goal of the small group program is to duplicate the pilot group and expand to several groups, so every member can be a part of a small group. Assigned in March, The Reluctant Witness from LHM and Barna's Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age research is the next book to be discussed in the small groups. This topic will also be covered in Mount Calvary's weekly Sunday morning Bible study for additional insight on this subject.

Beginning in April, Mount Calvary started a six-week Sunday morning Bible class focusing on Spiritual Conversations in the Digital Age. Every participant was provided a copy of The Reluctant Witness to read, and Pastor Vanderbilt is using other SCDA materials to teach the course. "People are often scared or uncomfortable sharing their faith, but it doesn't have to be as stressful as we make it out to be," says Caroline.

About 25-30 people started attending this program in April. The group enjoyed the conversations and discussions so much that they exceeded the time by 20 minutes during the first gathering. "We hope to give our members tools and confidence to share their faith with those around them in this new environment we live in," says Jeret.

In addition to the small groups and Bible class, preschool- through high school-aged students recently participated in the Gospel Adventures program during Sunday school. Mount Calvary leadership has also announced that they will begin planning to use Gifted for More materials in the fall.

To learn more about how you can bring Lutheran Hour Ministries' resources to your congregation by becoming an LHM Ambassador, visit

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