On a rainy Saturday morning in late October, 11 women and several men gathered
in the church basement to pin together and sew quilts. Their goal? Fifty quilts
by 8 p.m.
That Saturday, October 27, was national Make a Difference Day, an
observance started in 2005 by USA Weekend magazine.
The folks gathered in the basement at Arndts were doing just that – making a
difference – for the Safe Harbor shelter in Easton, a homeless shelter in New
Orleans, and Lutheran World Relief.
Spearheading the venture was Arndts member Marjorie Paul. She suggested that
Arndts "make a difference" by recycling donated old blankets into new
''Our motto is 'A Simple Quilt for Suffering People!' Marjorie explained.
“I introduced this ministry to the congregation in August by draping 10 quilts
that I had already completed over the pews and pinning this note to them:
“That got everyone's attention!” she laughed. “We had more than enough donations of sheets,
blankets, pillowcases, bedspreads, mattress pads, and odds and ends of new material.”
Marjorie's husband, Howard Paul, was one of the men helping at the event. He and
two other people, Louise Hawk and Denise Adams, cut and pinned together blankets
in the first step in making the next quilt.
"This is an easy way of giving back by helping someone else," said Denise Adams.
Marjorie Paul spoke about her dreams for the project: “Our prayer and hope
is that, through publicity, other ELCA churches would decide to adopt this ministry,
and that each church would commit to making 50 ‘simple quilts’ on
the fourth Saturday of October,” she said. “It coordinates nicely
with Reformation Sunday, and would be an awesome example of the church putting
its faith into action!
“Imagine... 50 x 10,549 congregations! How about a goal of 100, two from each
state? That's very modest. Imagine!
Marjorie is willing to put together a simple “how to” packet, including
tips on getting the congregation involved. She and her husband have a website
with information at
users.rcn.com/paulh1/simplequilts (no www first). She and
others from the congregation are willing to speak to groups that might be interested.
And, yes, they made their goal – and then some.
“We completed 52 quilts,” noted Marjorie. “I took 15 of them to Safe
Harbor yesterday, 10 will go to New Orleans, and 27 will go to Lutheran World