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It’s game on for ‘Hoops for Hope’

Alumni basketball game supports The Hope Center for Families

It will be all heart and hustle as Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Preachers basketball players face off against alumni at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, during the fourth annual “Hoops for Hope” game. The event raises awareness for The Hope Center for Families, a ministry of Bethlehem Lutheran Church that serves families in the St. Louis municipalities of Ferguson and Jennings.

“Ministry is a team effort. In a healthy congregation the pastor works together with the congregation for the sake of the Gospel,” said Preachers Assistant Coach Dr. Peter Nafzger, who also serves as assistant professor of Practical Theology. “The players on the Preachers basketball team learn this in tangible ways on the court as they win, lose and struggle together. When the alumni come to town, these seminarians get a chance to play against their future colleagues in ministry. This is a great time of fellowship and friendly competition. It’s also a chance to look outside ourselves and support an important local ministry.”

At halftime, children served by The Hope Center will scrimmage, and an offering will be taken.

“It takes an entire team,” said Rev. Gerard Bolling, associate pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran and co-director of The Hope Center for Families. “We’re thankful for God’s faithfulness through an extensive network of Lutheran churches, schools and volunteers that help The Hope Center for Families serve some 60 children and their families with their spiritual and physical needs.”

The game will be played in the Pederson Field House, located on the campus of Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, Mo. Alumni players interested in playing are encouraged to contact Health and Wellness Coordinator Julie Gary at

About Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit