• “Every day of my life starts and ends with knitting and praying,” said Melanie Larson, a member of Christ Lutheran, Aptos, Calif., who prayed for a church knitting group. Her prayers were answered when a widower brought two trunk loads of yarn to the church that his wife never had the opportunity to use. “Knitting for Neighbors” was born with the goal of knitting vests and hats for more than 100 teddy bears that are given to children with cancer. The children also receive a separate matching knitted hat to wear as they lose their hair from chemotherapy. More than 20 members of Christ, as well as volunteers from several community groups, have participated. Member Maureen Perkinson knitted more than 40 hats and vests for the teddy bears. “You can only give so many scarves to friends and family. This project has given a renewed meaning and purpose to knitting,” Perkinson said.
|Vestment to heirloom|
Carolind Parson, a member of Tree of Life Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, Pa., found a way to transform clergy vestments into family heirlooms. An art teacher by training and a pastor’s daughter and sister, Parson transformed discarded family vestments into crosses and shadowboxes that she’s given to three generations of her family. Parson created the keepsakes by using the fabrics, linings and embellishments of several stoles. Colors and symbols were used to represent the significance of a particular time or event. “It is my deepest hope that these shadowboxes and crosses can be a visible representation and remembrance of your ancestry,” Parson told her relatives—three generations of Pastor Carl E. Maier’s family.
• In January, Hamar and Our Savior Lutheran churches in Rothsay, Minn.
, voted to become New Life Lutheran Church. For 125 years they stood across the street from one another.
• Members of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fairview, Pa.
, remembered people serving in the armed forces at Christmas by sending more than 40 boxes of goodies to a military police unit serving in Afghanistan. Care packages included socks, lip moisturizer, soap, shampoo, shaving products, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, books, magazines, snacks, gum and candy. They also sent Christmas music, decorations and even a couple small Christmas trees. Average weekly attendance at St. James is slightly less than the number of boxes mailed.
• Your Grandmother’s Cupboard
, an organization whose board of directors is composed of Lutherans in California, Minnesota, New Jersey and Connecticut, launched an outreach program to the homeless through Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Toms River, N.J.
Two retired pastors, an associate in ministry, two Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
representatives and other lay members of their churches formed a nonprofit corporation to address the growing needs of those living in tents, “welfare” motels and rooming houses. They’ve secured clothing, blankets, diapers, toiletries, food and other necessities. They also purchased a trailer to take the supplies to the homeless.
• Youth at United by Faith Lutheran Church, Evergreen Park, Ill.
, joined nearly 5,000 other Chicago teens in February in the World Vision 30 Hour Famine
. During the awareness program, young people go without food, learn about hunger and do service projects. United by Faith
’s young people baked cookies for the local PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter)
site and did random acts of kindness in the community, including bringing treats to the local police station. To help raise awareness, they attached 29,000 puzzle pieces to brown paper and hung them throughout the church for World Hunger Sunday. That is the projected number of people worldwide who die each day from hunger-related causes.