Meet another member of South Florida's many-sided faith community. This week we're talking with the Rev. George Pulos of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Davie.
Q: How do you prepare for Easter?
A: One, I get a lot of rest (laughs). It's a very busy time.
Q: Why did the two churches, Gloria Dei and St. Mark's, merge?
A: It was out of the realization that we could do a better witness for Christ as one larger congregation than as two struggling congregations. St. Mark's was in neighborhood affected by high unemployment and high crime. Cars were stolen or vandalized during night services. Our leaders were looking at closing or moving or merging. The merger took place in August 2011.
Q: How has your job changed since then?
A: We're expanding our mission outreach to Nova Southeastern University and to Haiti. And with a program called Blessings in a Backpack, helping children at Davie Elementary School. We fill backpacks with food every week. so that children who receive meals from school all week have a full meal for the weekend. Then they bring the packs back to us on Monday. Then we fill them and give them back on Friday.
Q: Is it hard for Lutherans -- who come from Germany and Scandinavia -- to minister in South Florida?
A: Oh, no. Christ's mandate is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. We have families from Jamaica, Haiti, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico. The ships have stopped coming from Germany, but the planes are coming to Florida from all over the world.
Q: How do you like to relax?
A: Spending time with kids and wife. I like to play with them in backyard, read to them, vacation with them. We just came back from Wyoming. I went sledding and had snowball fights with my kids.
Q: What book have you been recommending lately?
A: John Grisham's "The Testament." It's been out awhile, but it's a perspective of life about what is important in the here and now.
Q: How about a favorite film?
A: My all-time favorite is "The Wizard of Oz." It shows that what people seek the most is what what they have in their own backyard. And people's weaknessess often turn out to be their greatest strengths.
Q: Favorite music? Favorite performer(s)?
Q: Do you have a treasured possession?
A: My mother's baptismal cross. It was made in Constantinople, where she was born and baptized. I wear it every day.
Q: Your most memorable spiritual experience?