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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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August 28, 2008

In praise of quilts & camps

Quilt auctions at Bible camps aren’t unusual. In fact, they’re an important source of income for those outdoor ministry sites that have them—many in the Midwest and in rural locations.

“Ducks Galore,” a quilt made by New Hope Lutheran in Comfrey, Minn., this summer sold for $210, putting Green Lake Bible Camp over the $1 million mark for their 24 years of auctions. This year’s auction raised $72,085. I’ve taken kids to this Minnesota camp, look at it across the lake from our family cabin, and one day I hope to send my kids there.

And here’s another summer quilt auction story:

Carol Joy Holling Camp in Nebraska raised $166,180 this year at its quilt auction. One quilt sold for $20,000! No wait, even more. The winning bidder gave her bid amount to the camp and offered the quilt to the next highest bidder for their price. That bidder agreed and the total raised from this quilt (made by a first-time quilter) raised $39,500.

If you’re a quilting groupie, you can hop in your car and travel northwest to Billings, Mont. Christikon Lutheran Bible Camp ’s quilt auction is turning into a rather hip “event.” What used to be held in a church basement is now in a former depot, with potential bidders dining on gourmet food and sipping wine while admiring quilts from the hands of so many faithful church women (and men).

Believe me, I know I’m opening a can of worms by touting anyone’s quilt accomplishments. I’ve had plenty of quilt news items and photos cross my desk. But let me just take a little bit of Web space this day to thank all the faithful who support our church ministries (Outdoor Ministries, Lutheran World Relief and others) one stitch at a time. So if you’re starting to tire of cheers for the politicians this week, send out a hip, hip hooray for all the people behind quilts and camps, unsung heros of our church!

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