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.

November 2016

What does the “evangelical” in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America mean?  According to the Seeds for the Parish publication of the ELCA it describes one who believes in the good news of Jesus Christ.  We reclaim this meaning despite how it has been appropriated to divide and judge people.  We share the gospel freely and embrace each other as diverse yet whole people in Jesus Christ.


Alex Hansen, son of Pastor Heather and Mark Hansen, was Head Chorister and sang a solo at The Chapel Boychoir of San Antonio Hymn Festival on Oct. 9.


Leo Elsasser, grandson of Mac Park members Alan and Kay Elsasser, was featured in an article in the Missourian newspaper.  The Hickman High School sophomore is on the Columbia FFA Trap Shooting Club competition team.


October 2016

Pastor Paul Ziese will be on sabbatical from Sept. 18-Nov. 17.  He just celebrated his twentieth year of service at MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, and this is his fourth sabbatical.


Pastor Ziese will participate in a self-directed retreat at The Monastery of Christ in the Desert Benedictine retreat in Abiqui, New Mexico.


He will also spend time at Lebh Shomea House of Prayer at La Parra Ranch located in Wild Horse Desert, six miles due east of the small South Texas town of Sarita.  Lebh Shomea stresses silent listening of the heart-contemplative prayer, according to the website.


Other activities will include reading about the Lutheran church fathers, organizing his church library and visiting tourist sites in San Antonio such as the missions and museums.


September 2016

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Courtney Grove has been selected to receive the 2016 SCHOLARSHIP to the 2016 Southwestern Texas Synodical Women of the ELCA Convention.


Mac Park member Sheryl Bierstedt has completed a 6-week class in Mindful Meditation.


Ryan French, brother of Mac Park member Melissa French-Stephenson, sang with Garrison Keilor on his last show of Priairie Home Companion on May 21, 2016.


According to ELCA Global Links-July 2016, there are more Lutheran in Tanzania than there are in the United States.

August 2016

Of the 159 potential pledging units at MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, this is the age breakdown of those who actually pledged for the 2016-2017 fiscal year beginning on Sept. 1.


20 – 49 years of age=  13 pledging units

50 – 79 years of age=  50 pledging units

80 – 99 years of age=  18 pledging units


On the Mac Park website, there is a convenient “Donate Here” button.


If you give electronically, in the pews there are cards stating such to put in the plate when the offering plates are passed.


June 2016

These Mac Park members serve on the boards of ministries the church supports.  Jeanette Pierce serves on the San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries board.  Claudia Torkelson serves on the Agape board, and Jamie La Fuente is on the board of Christian Assistance Ministry.


MacArthur Park Lutheran School students checked out a total of 2,461 books from the school library for the 2015-2016 school year.  Three year olds could check out one book a week for a total of 249.  Four year olds could check out 2 books a week for a total of 636 books.  Kindergarten students could check out 5 books a week and had a total of 760 books, and first graders could check out 6 books a week for a total of 816 books.


Collin Gill made the highest SAT score among seniors at Judson High School.  He will be attending The University of Texas at Austin.


May 2016

MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Blair Ortmann spoke at the April 30 Delta Kappa Gamma International Society San Antonio Coordinating Council Founders’ Day Celebration Tea.  Ortmann is the Donor Relations Manager for SAMMinistries, whose mission is to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless attain self-sufficiency by providing, with dignity and compassion, shelter, housing and services. She focuses on connecting donors with opportunities to impact homeless families in San Antonio through gifts of time, treasure and talents.

Many Mac Park members have interesting collections.  Cheryl Nickles has 72 clocks and more than 50 watches in her collection.  Bjorn Dybdahl has collected over 60 wristwatches.  Jim Price has a collection of basset hound stuffed animals, books, figures and mugs.

Rhea Clouse was a cheerleader for her four years of high school in Oil City, Pennsylvania.

Bill Tope makes jelly that he shares with Mac Park members and other friends.  He prefers to make cactus jelly, but he also uses blackberries and other fruits.

April 2016

Making a stewardship pledge is very helpful to the Finance Committee as it prepares the spending plan for MacArthur Park Lutheran Church for 2016-2017.  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.


According to the March 2016 issue of the Thrivent Magazine:  It may sound like a Bible verse, but it’s not.  “God helps those who help themselves.” is actually credited to Aesop (the Greek storyteller known for his fables) and Benjamin Franklin.


MacArthur Park Lutheran Church member Robin Bullington volunteers every Tuesday afternoon at CAM (Christian Assistance Ministry.)  She says CAM is always in need of more volunteers!


The Lenten meal offerings for the five Wednesdays totaled $504.  The offerings help the youth attend the Disciple Project and confirmation camp.

March 2016

Each year, Thrivent members are designated Choice Dollars based on their qualifying insurance premiums, contract values and volunteer leadership.  If you are an eligible Thrivent member with Choice Dollars available to designate you can help strengthen our community by directing them to MacArthur Park Church and School.


Members and friends of MacArthur Park Lutheran Church and School directed $610 of Thrivent Choice Dollars to the school and $1,375 to the church in 2015.  Thank you to those members who helped to support our church’s mission by directing Choice Dollars.


Thrivent Choice Dollars for the past year must be directed by March 31, 2016.

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