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Sylvan Lake Churches, Police Team Up to Help Local Families

Officers work with Advent Episcopal and Sylvan Lake Lutheran churches to give 16 children a merry Christmas.

Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church and Advent Episcopal Church hosted a party for five families they helped through a Christmas partnership with Sylvan Lake Police Department. Photo credit: Lauren Seng
Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church and Advent Episcopal Church hosted a party for five families they helped through a Christmas partnership with Sylvan Lake Police Department. Photo credit: Lauren Seng
Two Sylvan Lake churches with a unique relationship teamed up with Sylvan Lake Police this month to make Christmas a little brighter for five families in need. 

Advent Episcopal Church lost its home on Middlebelt, after the financier who backed a church remodeling project was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme. (Learn more on the church website.) Last year, Advent began sharing space with Sylvan Lake Lutheran Church on Figa in West Bloomfield.

The two congregations planned a holiday outreach to five families this year, said Manisha Dostert, Advent's priest in charge. Four of the families have children at Webster Elementary. 

"One family had seven children," Dostert said. "That meant a total of 16 children ... It seemed a little overwhelming. And then we got a call from the Sylvan Lake Police Department." 

Officer Mike Mondeau said the department has for the past several years helped children in need in Lake Orion. This year, they wanted to work with families closer to home. 

Having an officer who is related to an Advent church member made the search a little easier, Mondeau said. The department quickly decided to buy gifts for all 16 kids. 

"It was very stunning and pretty wonderful," Dostert said. 

"It's been a real pleasure to work with (the churches)," Mondeau said. "It's nice to help people who are more connected to our community." 

Both sides say the partnership may well continue, as long as there's need. 

"That's what churches do," Dostert said. "They're really supposed to be reaching out to communities crying out for help and be that response." 

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