For 72 years, Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) has entered a float in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. This year, the LHM float — titled “A New Day with Jesus” — was awarded the Tournament of Roses Director Award.
The parade, usually held on Jan. 1, was moved to Jan. 2 this year in keeping with the tradition of not holding it on a Sunday so as not to interfere with worship services. It was only the twentieth time in the parade’s 134-year history that the date has been moved.
The centerpiece of LHM’s 2023 float was a church with the sun rising behind it. Jesus stands at the doors of the church, inviting all who pass by to enter. Stained glass windows on the exterior of the church tell the story of God’s love.
Jonathan Schultz, president and CEO of Concordia Publishing House, was invited to ride in this year’s parade.
“My entire life I’ve watched the Rose Parade with my family, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Lutheran Hour Ministries float,” Shultz said. “At Concordia Publishing House, we strive daily to share the bright light of the Gospel. It was a privilege to join with LHM for the Rose Parade as they shared the hope we have in Jesus with millions of viewers.”
The LHM float is a self-funded project of the Lutheran Hour Ministries Float Committee (LHMFC) and the Southern California District of the International Lutheran Laymen’s League. The committee’s ongoing work is funded by donations and multiple fundraising activities and is not included in the operating budget of LHM.
The LHM float — the only Christian-themed float in the parade — was decorated by the LHMFC Petal Pushers, an organization of approximately 5,000 volunteers from across the United States and Canada who come together each year to help build floats. Learn more at petalpushers.org.
Posted Jan. 24, 2023
Wow! Having lived four times in the LA area, I never tired of seeing this parade, but the highlight was always the Lutheran Hour float. The Cowboy station seems to be the only one that shows all of the floats, and this year they featured the Lutheran Hour float in their preview, and really gave it special attention in the live show. I wonder how many stations turned away from this float, even with the Director’s trophy. Sad that so many have become disdainful of all things Christian. Lutheran Hour, though, continues to hold forth Jesus the Christ and His love for us. Thank you!