Last year, Pastor Clint Schnekloth of East Koshkonong Lutheran Church, rural Cambridge, ran the 20 mile Syttende Mai race from the Capitol Square in Madison to Mandt Park in Stoughton to raise funds for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). His run was featured on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal sports section, the LIRS web site—www.lirs.org, and in the Cambridge, Wis. newspaper. He completed the run in just over 3 hours, and raised over $2,300 for the ministry of LIRS.
This year, Pastor Clint has cast the net even more widely, and has invited Pastor Rachel Powell of Grace Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Wis., to walk the Syttende Mai 17 mile walk while he runs, and they've invited parishioners from both their congregations to join them in raising funds by running and walking as well. Pastor Rachael will be raising funds for a missionary that Grace Lutheran Church sponsors, and Pastor Clint will once again be raising funds for the ministry of LIRS and its affiliate Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin, this time sponsoring a Meskhetian Turk family that arrived in Milwaukee in March from Uzbekistan and Russia. This year Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will be donating matching funds of $1 for each $2 raised.
Syttende Mai is a Norwegian Independence Day festival. By using the Syttende Mai run as a fundraiser for immigrants, Pastor Clint hopes to emphasize the connection between the Norwegian immigrants that came to Wisconsin in the 1800s and immigrants who are arriving in Wisconsin today. Both he and Pastor Rachael Powell also hope to raise awareness of health and wellness issues in their congregations.
Donations toward Pastor Clint’s run can be made out to “East Koshkonong Lutheran Church” with “LIRS” in the memo line and sent to the church at 454 E. Church Rd. Cambridge, WI 53523. Donations toward Pastor Rachael’s walk can be made out to “Grace Lutheran Church” with “Missionary” in the subject line and sent to Grace Lutheran Church, 501 Skogen Rd., Cambridge, WI 53523.