August, September and October 2019

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Jacob Halderwas a member of the Reagan Choir Italy Singers that won first place in the Youth and University Choir division and Choral Grand Prix for Best in Festival at the Leonardo De Vinci Choral Festival in Florence, Italy.


At MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, congregation members and friends of the church will have many opportunities to make donations of money or items to help others, but you get to choose which causes to support.


During the early 1960’s, Pastor Don Vlasak, father of Mac Park member James Vlasak, attended seminars about how to protect people from radiation should the country be struck by an atomic bomb.  At the seminar, ideas were given about different styles of bomb shelters.


Pastor Vlasak said that being the pastor of Grace Lutheran in Mathis, Texas, he felt he should take action.  During the years 1962-64, he had a shelter built on the lot next to the parsonage. An architect friend designed the 8 by 24 foot steel building. 


The building had a generator that was charged by riding a bicycle connected to it.  The shelter contained water and other supplies and could hold a maximum of a dozen people.


The shelter came to people’s minds during the Cuban Crisis when the threat of bombs was again present.


The Vlasak family actually used the shelter during Hurricane Beulah, and James Vlasak remembers playing in the shelter when his family returned to Mathis for visits.

May, June and July 2019

·     Making a stewardship pledge is very helpful to the Finance Committee as it prepares the spending plan for MacArthur Park Lutheran Church for 2019-2020 financial year. Just as in family finance, knowing what income is coming in helps to better plan for the year.


·     The MacArthur Park Lutheran Church and School financial year runs from Sept. 1-Aug. 31.


·     Congregation members can provide fresh flowers for the sanctuary for church services. There is a signup poster by the sanctuary entrance.  Another option is to make a donation and use silk arrangements belonging to the church. In either case, a notation in the bulletin will be made in honor of or in memory of the event or person being celebrated.


·     Congregation members need to notify the church office of hospitalizations.  The hospitals do not make such notifications.


·     If you or your group uses the church buildings, remember to lock all doors when you leave.


·     At MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, congregation members and friends of the church will have many opportunities to make donations of money or items to help others, but you get to choosewhich causes to support.


·     The Easter breakfast was a fundraiser for the youth that brought in $320.  

February, March and April 2019

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Nicole Halder volunteers with the Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team.   The website states, “We are dedicated to rescuing stranded marine mammals on a 700 miles stretch of coastline on Cape Cod and southeastern MA — a global mass stranding hot spot.”


Playing water volleyball is the pastime of another Mac Park member, Lou Anne Blankenship.


Pastor Sarah Roemer, the newly introduced transitional pastor for MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, is not a completely new to this congregation.  In 2006, the then Deaconess Sarah Roemer served Mac Park for three months during Pastor Paul Ziese’s second sabbatical.

November, December 2018 and January 2019

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Dale Lockett was a presenter at the Imagine Learning Symposium in Provo, Utah, in September.


His Facebook page says that former Mac Park member Jonathan Zitelman is the lead pryrotechnician at Pyrotex.  He is also director of event services at Texas Lutheran Univerisity.


Mac Park member Renee Edmondson and her husband Jeremy went, in costume, to Chuy’s Tex-Mex Restaurant and received a free meal!  Chuy’s has a shrine to Elvis at every location, according to its website.



August, September, October

After living in the United States for forty years, MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Loni Carlson became a U.S. citizen on June. 27.  Congratulations, Loni!


Mac Park youth Hannah Hansen and Josh Vlasak were leaders for the Synod Day event at the 2018 Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas.


Hymns in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship book are titled by their first lines in order to make hymns easier to find.


Mac Park member Nancy Halvorson was quoted in the Express-News in opposition to cutting down large trees in her neighborhood.


So far in 2018, MacArthur Park Lutheran School has received $482 through the Thrivent Choice® program.


Mac Park member Christy Halder posted this on Facebook about her brother-in-law, Hunter Halder. “So very proud of him and the work he and his wonderful organization do!! He truly is an example of “YES, one person CAN make a difference. “  In 2011 he founded Re-food 4-Good with one volunteer, one bicycle and 34 recipients.  Now, the organization has 7,000 volunteers and distributes one million meals a year to people in Portugal.



June 2018

At the 2018 Southwestern Texas Synod Assembly, Pastor Heather Hansen was elected to the Synod Council as the clergy representative from the Alamo Conference and Hannah Hansen was elected to serve as a voting member at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly Aug. 5-10, 2019 in Milwaukee, WI.


The Youth Gathering is in Houston this year and runs from June 27-July 1.  

The youth and their families have engaged in multiple fundraising activities to help cover the expenses for the event.


The Easter breakfast brought in $344.26, and the Taco Breakfast raised $354.94.  Working during the Fiesta parades earned the youth $900.


Proceeds from the soda machine in the Education Building were $107.31.


Finally, Property Manager Kevin Ott took the aluminum cans collected during the year and on Earth Day to the recycle center and brought back $70.92 that goes toward the Youth Gathering trip expenses.


April 2018

On March 11 MacArthur Park Lutheran Church offered a blessing for the prayer shawls that will go to the Southwestern Texas Synod Assembly May 4-5.  The shawls are being sent so that each voting member will have a prayer shawl or prayer square during the process of selecting the new bishop. Virginia Stowell who heads up the prayer shawl ministry reports that eleven knitters made the 37 shawls and 200 prayer squares that were blessed during the Sunday worship service.


MacArthur Park Lutheran Church will be donating a large number of items to Lutheran World Relief. The women’s group has assembled, packaged, weighed and labeled 70 personal care kits using seed money from a Thrivent Action Team grant.  Susan Rath provided the toothbrushes for the kits, and Patty Raney and Suzette Price bought some of the combs and nail clippers.  The Florida State University Alamo Seminoles alumni group assembled, packaged, weighed and labeled 100 personal care kits.  Mac Park member and Alamo Seminoles President Eric Price applied for and received a Thrivent Action Team grant that paid for some of the needed items for the kits.  Alamo Seminoles donated 120 bars of soap for the kits.  The Mac Park quilters made 30 quilts to donate.  Pastor Lynn Ziese made and packaged 64 fleece blankets and 8 baby care kits.  On April 4, Dan Bierstedt and Henry Sladek will load the boxes into their trucks and deliver them to the Lutheran Work Relief area gathering point at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin.

March 2018

The quilt top made by Bernice Raney has netted $5,611.10 for MacArthur Park Lutheran School.  The winner of the quilt is MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Mary Alice Rupard.  Ironically, she is the one who did all the actual quilting stitches on the quilt!


In 2017, Thrivent members directed $826 worth of Choice Dollars to MacArthur Park Lutheran Church and $854 worth of Choice Dollars to MacArthur Park Lutheran School. The deadline for Thrivent members to direct their Choice Dollars for 2017 is March 31, 2018.  If you need help to do so, please check with your Thrivent Congregational Advocate Suzette Price.


The newly published book “Unplanned” by Mac Park Church member Brenda Kusenberger is available on Amazon as a paperback and as Kindle book.  The book is about a difficult time in the life of a young adult.


December 2017

After Hurricane Harvey, MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Gina Rice went to Victoria in her capacity as a Home Depot employee to help run the local Home Depot store while its regular employees were trying to recover from the damage the storm caused.


Elizabeth Seitter, who is a senior student at Baylor University, was a volunteer teacher during the fall semester this year.  She taught a sign language class as part of an after school program for kindergarten through fifth grade at a Waco Baptist Church.


Bradley Middle School student James Stephenson is a member of the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio (YOSA) Symphonic Winds group that played Nov. 12 at the Laurie Auditorium.


Wide receiver for the MacArthur High School Brahma football team Ethan Gottschalk was selected to be a member of the San Antonio Sports 2018 All Star Team.


Another Mac Park member, Mark Hansen has the distinction of having served as Santa’s elf at Ingram Park Mall when he was a teenager.

November 2017

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church members Andrew Lockett and Alex Hansen have earned places in region choir.  Andrew won first chair in the Tenor II section, and Alex won fourth chair in the Tenor I section.  The region choir will perform at Reagan High School on Nov. 4.

Mac Park member Suzette Price is now a member of the Southwestern Texas Synod Candidacy Committee.  The Candidacy Committee guides people through the candidacy process toward rostered service in the ELCA.

On a recent Sunday, Pastor Paul Ziese pointed out the Mac Park cornerstone.  It is at one corner of the choir loft.

October 2017

A group of Mac Park volunteers has staffed the church nursery on Sunday morning since November, 2014.  Thank you, ladies!


Mac Park volunteers provide Sunday morning snacks…most at their own expense.  Thank you, volunteers!


Property Manager Kevin Ott supervises a cadre of volunteers that paints, mows and does other general maintenance jobs to keep the Mac Park campus looking great and running smoothly.  Thank you, guys!

September 2017

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Jodi Vlasak has just completed nine years of service on the Southwestern Texas Synod Candidacy Committee.  For six years she was chair of that committee.  She was honored for her service at the Aug. 12 meeting of the committee.


Since 1945, Lutherans have sent 2.9 million personal care kits around the world.  In 2017 MacArthur Park Lutheran Church presented 175 personal care kits for distribution by Lutheran World Relief.


The adult Sunday School class meeting at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday mornings is studying Acts.  The class noticed with interest that after the description of Stephen being stoned in Chapter 7, the Bible says, “And Saul approved of their killing him.”  Saul is later called Paul and is a main character in the later chapters of Acts. 


August 2017

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Bill Sweda shared that his high school German teacher ran in the 1936 Olympics and won the silver medal.  That year Jesse Owens won the gold medal.


Another Mac Park member Sylvia Seiler was valedictorian of her 28 member Shertz-Cibolo High School graduating class.


One church member just figured out that Susan Rath, Sherill Whiteman and Sara Milam are sisters, and she thought others should know also!

June 2017

Lutheran Campus Ministry-San Antonio is now ten years old.  It serves college-age students giving them opportunity for fellowship, service and worship.


Pastor Heather Hansen provided the inspiration and the Synod Assembly offering in 2007 provided the start-up funds.


The ministry is now supported by the Southwestern Texas Synod and San Antonio Lutheran churches.


MacArthur Park Lutheran Church members who serve on the board are Ellen Bridges, Suzette Price and Bill Sweda.  Other board members are Pastor David Shulte, Rob Rothen and Shannon Rios, Zion Lutheran Church; Sue Ann Pemberton, St. John’s Lutheran Church and Chaplain Skip Courter.


The LCM-SA Fifth Annual Golf Tournament was held Saturday, May 20, at Northern Hills Golf Course.  Mac Park members and friends who participated were Dan Bierstedt, Jeff Bullington, Mark Hansen, Bob Hunt, Jimmy Petrutsas, Jonathan Petrutsas, David Stephenson and Bill Sweda,

May 2017

Where are the stamps we are donating going?

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church mails out 26 newsletters each month…but most congregation members and friends of the congregation receive their newsletters by email.

Mac Park volunteer Carol Couffer addresses birthday and anniversary cards each month that are sent to congregation members to let them know their church family celebrates those special events with them.

During the yearly stewardship program, letters are sent to each congregation member to assist each in planning his or her yearly pledge to the church.  This year’s program is “Experience the Joy of Generosity!” 


April 2017

Mrs. Michelle Esquivel is the kindergarten teacher at MacArthur Park Lutheran School.  When her students are tested at the end of the year, they know 135 sight words.  In public school, students have learned an average of 40 sight words.


In addition to having a great teacher, Mrs. Esquivel’s Mac Park kindergarten students have the advantage of getting to work with two volunteers.


Mrs. Virginia Stowell works with the students on Mondays and Wednesdays.  She does guided reading for 15-20 minutes with each student on each of the two days.  She also guides them in writing sentences.


Volunteer Mrs. Starla Sweda, who is also a school board member, gives her time weekly to teach the kindergarten students “Handwriting without Tears.”  She also serves as a resource for the Mac Park faculty and staff on questions regarding occupational therapy that is her area of expertise.

March 2017

Thrivent Choice Dollars must be directed by the March 31, 2017 deadline.  If you need help doing that, Thrivent Congregational Advocate Suzette Price can assist you.  There are also information cards on the table at the back of the sanctuary with directions.


During 2016 Thrivent members directed $1483 to MacArthur Park Lutheran Church.


Do you know about Thrivent Action Teams?  Here is how they work.  Think about an unmet need in your community and how you could help. Apply to lead your volunteer team in a one-time fundraiser, service activity or educational event that can be completed within 90 days. Once your project is approved, you'll receive a Thrivent Action Kit, including:

•   Promotional banner.

•   Invitations and thank-you cards.

•   Thrivent Action Team T-shirts.

•   A $250 Community Impact Card you can use as seed money to purchase project supplies and create promotional materials.


So far this year, Thrivent owners and Mac Park members Bill Sweda, Eric Price, Jim Price and Suzette Price have each applied for and received an Action Team Grant.

February 2017

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Dena Chenault will complete her final two classes in February to be a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor.  She willdo her practicum and then take the licensing test.


Another Mac Park member, Cory Torkelson, has applied to tryout for the American Ninja Warrior program.  Torkelson recently completed a 100K run.


Thrivent Choice Dollars need to be directed by March 31, 2017.  The MacArthur Park Lutheran Church congregational advocate and church member, Suzette Price, can help in this process. 


January 2017

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church has been blessed by having an exceptionally stable staff.


In 2017 Leigh Anne Seitter will have been music director and Debbie Kennedy will have been administrative assistant for 30 years!


Beverly Buchhorn has been bookkeeper for the church and school since November 1, 1995.


Pastor Paul Ziese has been senior pastor and Carla Lockett has been choir director for 20 years!


Kevin Ott has been property manager since October 17, 2001.


Pastor Heather Hansen is the newest member of the staff, having served as associate pastor since October of 2015.


MacArthur Park Lutheran Church is thankful for the faithful service of all of these staff members.


December 2016

The Christmas tree in the sanctuary of MacArthur Park Lutheran Church is decorated with Chrismons.


Chrismons are ornaments made from Christian symbols.  They help Christians to remember that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birthday.


According to the website “,”  Chrismons were first made by Frances Kipps Spencer at Ascension Lutheran Church in Danville, Virginia.  She also thought of the word “Chrismon” that is a contraction for “Christ monograms.”

Chrismons are traditionally white and gold.  White is the liturgical color for Christmas and symbolizes that Jesus was pure and perfect.  Gold represents His majesty and glory.


Elois Shepler and other women of Mac Park Lutheran Church made the Chrismons that decorate the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.

2903 Nacogdoches Rd.     San Antonio, TX 78217    phone: 210-824-7135  fax: 210-826-5146 Contact us