Karen Lanners

One Small Church’s Gargantuan Impact

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NORRIDGE, Ill. (Air1 News - Billie Branham) – Just one person’s kindness can change the life of another. Just one little church can impact an entire community.

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Acacia Park Lutheran Church may only count its members by a few dozen but their hearts and actions are as big as a congregation in the thousands. Karen Lanners serves as council president.

Lanners created a night ministry that’s feeding the hungry in their neighborhood of Norridge, just outside of Chicago. Most are homeless. She says, “We make a hundred and fifty sandwiches and we throw in a piece of fruit and some kind of a treat. And then we give out bottled water.”

It’s a collaboration of efforts. One that includes help from a national night ministry organization. They set up tables and check blood pressure and administer flu shots to those who’ve turned out for the free meal.

Lanners says those suffering in the neighborhood are very welcoming to the volunteers. She explains, “They’re wonderful people. When we pull up at 4 o’clock, they know what’s going on, they know this is the dedicated food drop. So they form a single line. And I always grab people from the line, (ask them) give us a hand setting things up, getting things over there. Because I want them involved with it to give them back some of their respect.”

Acacia Park Lutheran’s members go far beyond just feeding those in the neighborhood. They listen to the bright ideas, even the youngest in the congregation have come up with, to bring hope to those who feel the least hopeful of all.


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