Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Part of the IAGenWeb Project



The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mason City church members make quilts for refugees
by Mary Pieper

MASON CITY — When worshipers entered St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mason City Sunday morning, they found a colorful quilt draped over the back of each pew.

The 68 quilts, made by church members, will be distributed by Lutheran World Relief to those in need of warm covers on cold nights — including Syrian refugees in Europe and the Middle East.

The Rev. Michael Last, retired bishop of the Western Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and interim pastor at St. Paul, blessed the quilts at the beginning of the Sunday service.

Thousands of quilts by members of other ELCA churches across the nation, including those in North Iowa, also are being distributed by Lutheran World Relief.

The Women of the ELCA organization at St. Paul has been making quilts for Lutheran World Relief for many years.

“But this year we outdid ourselves,” said Michele Thenhaus, one of the quilters.

WELCA members at St. Paul made 72 quilts this year. Of those, 68 are going to Lutheran World Relief.

Another quilt was used as a prize for a drawing at the church’s soup and sandwich supper in November to honor veterans. Three other quilts were given to a family in need.

People who like to sew donate their leftover material for the quilt project.

Five to 10 women quilt at St. Paul on Wednesday mornings. Sometimes they take a lunch break and go back for work for a few more hours in the afternoon.

Other WELCA members do work at home, such as sewing quilt tops, cutting fabrics into strips or blocks or making quilt blocks.

The women who don’t sew put together kits of school items, personal care items and baby care items, which also are distributed by Lutheran World Relief.

The ELCA currently is assisting victims of the Nepal earthquake, the civil wars in Syria and South Sudan and the drought in Ethiopia.

Sometimes quilts are distributed to disaster victims in the U.S.

The Wednesday quilting group used to work in the Fellowship Hall but now has its own work room in the church.

“It’s just plain fun,” said quilter Carlyn Schriver.

The quilters also know their work is “going for a really good purpose,” she said.

Having the quilts blessed before they are sent to a warehouse in Minneapolis to be shipped out “just kind of makes it extra special,” Schriver said.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2016



  • Return to St. Paul Lutheran Church Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Church Index Page

  • Return to Cerro Gordo Home Page


    © Copyright 1996-
    Cerro Gordo Co. IAGenWeb Project
    All rights Reserved.