The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


February 24, 2006

Buy a barn or a baby quilt

The gavel goes up in cyberspace this Sunday on Trading Graces, the first annual online auction to benefit Lutheran social ministry organizations. Among the hundreds of items are a pegged-barn from Iowa, starting bid $2,100, and a baby quilt, made to your design, $200. The auction will take place on eBay through March 8.

Ninety-five percent of proceeds will go to the local community work of the various Lutheran health and human services organizations that are offering the items, with 5 percent to Lutheran Services in America, the national non-for-profit network of 303 of these member organizations and coordinator of the auction. Together in 2005, one in 50 Americans were served by LSA organizations. Nearly one-third of the organizations are participating in the auction.

If you've got money to spend and would like to support this work but are running out of space for stuff, check out the category "Everything Else." There's lots there for you to consider—from the naming rights for a new childcare center, starting bid $100,000, to sponsoring one counseling session, $50.

LSA President Jill Schumann says she hopes the auction will net $ .5 million. Her personal contribution to the effort is recruiting her husband, Mark Oldenburg, professor of liturgics at Gettysburg Seminary and a renowned hymn writer, to offer to create a lullaby, song or hymn to a tune in the public domain. The bidding will open at $100. I'm torn a bit as I divulge this particular offering because as a soon-to-be-grandmother I'm going to place my own bid once, twice...

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Embracing diversity