November is Thankoffering month for Women of the ELCA. At St. John’s we began the tradition by starting to quilt on Wednesday, November 1. Ladies begin to come at 8 am and others join in when they can. We have a social time around 9:30 am to meet everyone and learn of projects that we need or that we have done for others. It’s a very relaxed morning and a great way to meet women. All are welcome and there are many kinds of jobs that can be done.
The following message was written by Pastor Corrine Haulotte from the Lutheran Campus Center in Winona. The ladies of our congregation have shared God’s love in our community and throughout the world in a number of powerful ways. One of those is creating and sharing prayer shawls and quilts. Read about how powerful those gifts can be:
In the bleak midwinter of 2010, I received a colorful prayer shawl.
The shawl was sent to Wartburg Theological Seminary following a press conference held on campus regarding the death of [my friend] Ben in the Haiti Earthquake. A woman I have never met (even to this day) sent the shawl with a prayer square and a note to our Academic Dean, asking him to pass the items onto me. Craig explained that she heard me speak about Ben on the news and was moved to send the items.
I don’t remember what I said to Craig, but I remember the feeling that washed over me as I held the soft shawl and square in my hands. It was the same feeling I have each time I pull the shawl around my shoulders, cloaking myself in tangible prayer and colorful love.
Yesterday I held the shawl open for four women at the LCC. Kay, Marlene, another Marlene, and Charlotte from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kasson met Kelly and me at the LCC with quilts and shawls they had gathered for our students. I shared my story with them, and we all nodded, knowing deeply the simple and profound gift of such prayerful creations.
I also shared a long-held dream of mine: to have quilts and prayer shawls on hand to give to students. Of course, they already knew this. But Kay didn’t know about such a vision when she emailed us in June, inquiring whether or not we could use some quilts at the LCC. (Well, hello there, Holy Spirit.)
There’s more to the story…
The same day I met with these four angels from Kasson, a colleague and friend told me about a prayer shawl and square he had from a woman he had never met. Hmm, I thought, that sounds familiar. “Do you know if she sent a shawl to Wartburg Seminary in 2010?” Later that night, he called: “I received a message today you might find interesting… ‘Yes, I did send two shawls to Wartburg after the earthquake in 2010.’” My jaw dropped. What are the chances that on the same day I told this story and received beautiful quilts and shawls for our students, I would also receive a connection with this other woman?
Dear LCC friends, we just never know, do we? We never know what an impact we might have on one another. I want to invite you into this impact at the LCC. Please pray for our ministry together; consider offering a financial gift to further our ministry; perhaps offer a quilt or shawl to campus ministry, or a friend (or stranger!) in need. If you’d like to be part of this dream unfolding, please let me know!
Imagine the students who will wrap prayer about their shoulders and receive healing balm for their hearts through these quilts and shawls. Just imagine…
Pastor Corrine Haulotte
The women of St. John’s started quilting for the season on November 9, 2016. Thanks to help from our custodian, Evan, and Mark (in Evan’s absence), the Fellowship Hall is transformed into a quilting room every Wednesday. Women begin arriving 7:30-8:00 am and stay as long as they wish. Usually everything is cleaned up and put away by noon. Our attendance varies from 12-22.
You may have noticed the two totes in the hallway across from the office. One holds kits which contain enough blocks to make a 60″x80″ quilt top and can be taken home, sewed together, and returned to the second tote when completed.
On Wednesday mornings the women put the tops together along with a back and a filler. hese are tied with contrasting yarn. When tied, the edges are pinned together and ready to be zig-zagged.
So far this season we have completed approximately 160 large quilts and 65 smaller ones. Recipients of these quilts have included: Dodge Board & Lodge, Christmas Care & Share Boxes, Habitat for Humanity, Refugee Resettlement, Salvation Army, Hope Lodge, Dorothy Day House, Next Chapters Ministry, Families First of MN, Birthright, Family Promise, Lutheran World Relief, and various local disasters and fundraisers. Each child baptized at St. John’s has received a small quilt.
Thank you to everyone who has donated sheets and fabric and has sewn together the blocks. We are grateful to Thriven Action money which helps in the purchase of the filler.
Quilts may be purchased for $25 (small) or $50 (large). You may contact the office or any quilter to purchase.
What have we been up to in the last week?
Prayer Pillows Milestone
Last Sunday and Wednesday we celebrated a faith Milestone by presenting 3-year-olds with Prayer Pillows. Throughout the year, they will receive a postcard of prayers to learn with their family, one each month. The pillows are made by Colleen Jacobson and are a gift from St. John’s in part of keeping up with our congregation’s baptismal promises.
The women of St. John’s celebrated their Women of the ELCA (WELCA) thankoffering on Sunday the 8th. The celebration included bringing food and supplies for SEMCAC Food Shelf and special offerings which are sent to Churchwide Women of the ELCA. These offerings are then used to support and strengthen our partnership in supporting the important ministry efforts of women. Thankofferings show gratitude for God’s blessings. Women have been celebrating Thankofferings since 1889 along with Episcopal and Methodist women. Thankofferings make it possible to support many different programs and organizations.
Kickoff to 12th Grade Quilt Milestone
Each year, high school seniors at St. John’s are invited to receive a quilt from St. John’s upon their graduation. They work throughout the year to choose the fabric and help put the quilt together, so they have to start early! They met for the first time on Sunday. If you missed it, contact Lindsay (Lindsay@stjohnskasson.org or (507) 634-7110) to get started. Thank you to Jen Smith for coordinating this ministry!
Pastors Mioche & Joas Visited from Haiti
Pastor’s Mioche and Joas visited from Haiti on Wednesday. For 11 years we have supported Pastor Mioche’s ministry. It was great to get an in-person update from them! Read more about this ministry partnership here.
Operation Christmas Child Packing Party
Operation Christmas Child packing is in full swing and people gathered Wednesday night for another session of packing boxes. Next week starts National Collection Week and other organizations will be brining their packed boxes to St. John’s.
Ministry of Encouragement to City Hall
On Thursday, November 12, we had a great visit to Kasson City Hall to express our appreciation for all the people there do to keep our community running. And the new City Administrator was even able to be there!
Family Trip to the Dells
Right now five families from St. John’s having a blast (we hope!) in Wisconsin Dells at an indoor water park. It’s a great excuse to get away and pretend to be somewhere tropical!
This week was busy with:
- Trunk or Treat
- Remembrance Day at worship
- Program staff attending the synod’s Fall Theological Conference
- Quilting resumed (prayer shawls too!)
- An Oasis Afterschool “Packing Party” for Operation Christmas Child
- Confirmation Trivia Night
- Monthly Senior Community Worship
- Yard work around the church building
Trunk or Treat
Over 250 visitors from the community joined us on Saturday, October 31 for “Trunk or Treat.” It was a fun afternoon of games, “trick-or-treating,” and refreshments at St. John’s. People decorated the trunks of their cars, backs of their vans, or (in one case) even a trailer and passed out treats. This year’s “treats” were all non-food items as part of the Teal Pumpkin Project, an effort to provide a safe place for kids with food allergies or sensitivities to trick-or-treat. The police and fire departments even came out to join in the fun.
Remembrance Day at worship
On Sunday, November 1, and Wednesday, November 4, we remembered our loved ones who have passed. We read names of those from our congregation who died in the past year, did a special ringing of the bells, and lit candles as a remembrance.
Program staff attending the synod’s Fall Theological Conference
Each year the synod bishop’s office hosts a conference of continuing education for pastors and other leaders in the church. This year Pastor Randy, Amanda, and Lindsay all attended the event in Onalaska, Wis.
Quilting resumed (prayer shawls too!)
Wednesday, November 4, was the first day back to quilting for the year (now that lefse baking is over!). Anyone who likes to iron, cut blocks, or tie quilts is invited Wednesdays at 8 am. No experience needed! Thank you to everyone who donated fabric and sewed together tops!
An Oasis Afterschool “Packing Party” for Operation Christmas Child
On Wednesday, November 4, KM Schools had an early-out, so the Oasis Afterschool kids had a special service project to pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Confirmation Trivia Night
While the adult leaders had a meeting Wednesday night, the confirmation students had a rousing trivia night!
Monthly Senior Community Worship
On the first Thursday of the month, we host a Senior Community Worship service at 1:30 pm. For some, this is an easier time to attend and offers a special time together. The December service is a special time and will be held December 17 at 11 am (NOT the first Thursday). It will be followed by a luncheon.
Yard work around the church building
It takes many types of volunteers to do God’s work. This week we give a special thank you to Gary Kautz to did a lot of pruning work this week and hauled the waste away. We’re all set for spring!
The quilts that were made this winter and spring have been displayed in the sanctuary this week. During worship, they are being blessed before sending them to Lutheran World Relief. In addition to these quilts, the quilters sold quilts for $1,000 for the Haiti missions. They have also donated 166 large quilts and 55 baby quilts to area organizations and each baby baptized at St. John’s received a quilt.
Thank you to all who have given their time or donated materials to this ministry!
Thank you to everyone who has been donating fabric, and other materials for quilting. We are also grateful for all the women who come every Wednesday morning to help put the quilts together and the people who sew the tops at home. Because of all these volunteers, we have made many quilts and have already given many away locally and have more to give to Lutheran World Relief.
We have decided to make quilts available for our members to purchase with the profits going to the Haiti Mission Trip in April. We will sell the 60X80 ones for $50 and $25 for the baby ones.
So besides getting a cozy quilt for these cold winter evenings, you will also be contributing to the Haiti Mission. These quilts will be available on Sunday mornings between services beginning March 1st.