Small-Town Church, Big-Time Service

Cambridge Lutheran Church sits on a quiet stretch of a pretty street in the community of Cambridge, Minn. about two hours north of the Twin Cities.

While Cambridge itself has a small-town vibe, the people of Cambridge Lutheran have a global outlook! In addition to caring for local friends, family and neighbors, the congregation’s reach extends around the world through their partnership with Lutheran World Relief.

I was blessed to visit the congregation in May as we filmed part of a brand new video about quilts and kits and their journey around the world. What impressed me about this congregation is how everyone – young and old, big and small – has found their own personal calling to reach out to their brothers and sisters around the world.

There’s Loretta Dahlin, who sews cuffs onto sleepers, hems shirts, and makes baby jackets in the blink of an eye at her serger in her sewing room at home. There’s 15-year-old Christian Weeby who found a niche making Baby Care Kits, and invites the whole congregation to join him.

There’s Elsie Stomberg, who coordinates the quilters and kitmakers. She and her husband, Bob, make bags for the School Kits – more than 600 just this year! – that members of the congregation fill with supplies.

There’s 12-year-old Abby Bettendorf, whose favorite part of all the quilt and kit projects is to sew diapers, imagining how happy the moms will be who receive them in a Baby Care Kit. There’s Judy Stake, who brings home yards and yards of fabric that she carefully washes, presses and sews into tops and backs for the quilters to complete at church, a process that has taken over half of her home! And we’re just getting started.

Everyone has a project, a task, a piece of the puzzle they put into place. It truly is an effort of the whole community. The congregation’s generosity has resulted in thousands upon thousands of Quilts, Personal Care Kits, School Kits, Baby Care Kits and Fabric Kits being shared around the world over the years.

Pastor Andy Romstead, senior pastor at Cambridge, shares that not only does this project make a difference in the lives of neighbors around the world, but also “enriches the lives of the people participating in the church. They are able to make a difference in somebody else’s life and there is no way to do that without experiencing some sort of change in yourself. When we know that there are needs in the world, we often feel helpless.We know that we are blessed here. How can we share that blessing? This is an outlet, an opportunity to bless other people.”

The spirit of generosity and love that fills the hearts of the people of Cambridge bubbles out onto everyone they meet. That spirit goes into the quilts and kits they prepare, and then out into the world, just as with all of the quilts and kits that you make in your community. THANK YOU, Cambridge Lutheran, and each and every one of you, for making this ministry as vibrant and life-giving as it is!