Making a difference with quilts

By Susan Peterson

One year ago women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America met in Reeder, N.D. for their annual spring gathering.


Published May 17, 2013

The Herald

One of the speakers for this event was May Mortenson, Executive Director for Prison congregations of America from South Dakota. Mary challenged the women listening with the question, “What are you doing in prison ministries in your area?”

Several women took that question seriously. Along with the challenge from Lutheran World Relief to increase by 25 percent the number of quilts made for sending to our neighbors in need, they were inspired with a plan. What if they went into their local prison and invited the women there to join in making quilts? It would be a two-fold goal: visiting someone in prison as Jesus taught us and working side by side teaching them to quilt for LWR.

After receiving permission from the Dakota Women’s Correctional Center, passing a background check and completing a two hour training session, five women from southwestern North Dakota began making quilts one Saturday in April with some of the women inmates from DWCRC in New England. With several quilts completed that first day, plans are going forward to meet at least one Saturday a month.

After the initial challenge in Reeder, word is spreading to donate pre-cut 11” cotton fabric squares (48 are needed for one quilt). One Thrivent member applied for and received funding to purchase supplies and batting to fill the quilts.

Women quilting together has always been a social event. What a unique opportunity to expand that into ministry. One of the quilters asked the question, “Who is ministering to whom?”


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