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A Mission & Milestones Moment: Ladies Sewing society

My name is Joyce Schuler. I’m currently the president of the Ladies Sewing Society at St John’s Lutheran Church in Charleston South Carolina.

Two centuries ago, in 1825, the ladies of St John’s formed the Female Society of St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church to offer financial support to worthy young men in their preparation for the Christian Ministry in the Lutheran Church. The ladies raised funds by gathering donations and selling hand-stitched garments.

In 1914, a resolution was adopted establishing a memorial endowment fund for the Ladies Sewing Society. While this endowment is the main source of revenue for the grants, the ladies of St John’s continue to sell handmade items and, more recently, note card prints of the church plates and cookbooks. Each fall, we request a list of recommended candidates from the South Carolina Synod. From this list, the ladies usually select two students to receive grants from the Society. They receive two grants each. One in the late fall, and the other on Seminary Sunday, a celebration we have in March every year.

The recipients are invited to participate in both church services. Between services, the Society honors the seminarians with a brunch open to the entire congregation.

In the two centuries since its beginning, the Ladies Sewing Society has contributed to the education of more than 165 men and women in the Seminary. Two of St John’s pastors were recipients of the grants.

The ladies in 1825 had no idea what would become of the Society they began. Its Mission has continued for almost 200 years and we hope that it continues for another 200 or more.

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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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