Piecing Together Community
The church is strengthened by strong partners. That’s a lesson that members of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Glen Ellyn, Ill., learned as they addressed the growing number of people in need in their community.
“New people are moving into the community who do not speak English and are unfamiliar with our culture,” said Catherine Reiter. She and other members of Faith decided they would “piece together” a new social service ministry that pairs sewing with English language instruction.
“There are African refugee women and Hispanic women. There are Muslim women who cannot easily find religiously appropriate clothing,” said Reiter. “These women need a safe place to socialize with one another and established residents in the community and to acclimate into the culture here.”
New people are moving into the community who do not speak English and are unfamiliar with our culture.
— Catherine Reiter
member, Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church
They applied for and received a Good Samaritan grant to fund the Women’s Sewing and Textile Arts Project. The project provides 10 commercial sewing machines and materials for 10 women at a time to learn to sew clothing for themselves and their families and to develop English language skills. The project’s goal is to serve 30 women by June 2008.
The grant is given in partnership by Wheat Ridge Ministries and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). Your mission support helps LIRS, an ELCA partner agency, carry out its mission to bring hope and new life to newcomers to the United States.
Reiter looks forward to future community support so that the project can continue to bring diverse women together. “The project is an opportunity for women of all faiths and cultures to share common interests and foster mutual respect, peace, and understanding.”