A Quilting Milestone in Northwest Michigan

The group’s functioning leader, Sandra Osgood, shows off a closet filled with donated quilting supplies at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. (Traverse City Record-Eagle/Kyle Kaminski)

The quilters from Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Traverse City, Mich., quilted and donated their 12,000th Quilt this October — a milestone in the journey of needlework the group has been dedicated to for nearly 40 years.

The meticulous records of quilter Jane Witkop have tracked the group’s annual contributions to LWR and to other local organizations responding to emergencies. The quilters of Bethlehem recognize the importance of their contributions to their neighbors who live with so little.

The volunteers at Bethlehem give with a heart of impartiality. “There’s no prequalification to get our help,” said Tom Rockne, president of the church council. “It has nothing to do with administering them to other Lutherans or even Christians for that matter. If there is a need, we’re going to help to fill it.”

A note in the church’s October newsletter, The Bethlehem Star, reflects on the purpose of their ministry of quilting and this milestone. “What a reflection of our current Stewardship learning … Claimed, Gathered, and Sent—and We are Church, We are Lutheran, We are Church Together … for the sake of the world. Those around the world have specifically and emphatically felt the love of Bethlehem. Thanks to all who participate in this wonderful ministry.”

On behalf of Lutheran World Relief, we send our deep gratitude to the quilters of Bethlehem Lutheran for their incredible contributions to the work of accompaniment and justice around the world.

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