Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Senior Class Gift

For All the Saints: Fair Trade Paraments Celebrate International
Kirsten Fryer, MDiv Senior

When you walk into LSTC’s Augustana Chapel, you may notice that the window above the entrance is etched with a map of the world. At the bottom of the window, you see the words “For All the Saints.” This is a reminder that LSTC is indeed an international community. Our graduates serve as pastors, professors, and lay ministers all over the world. The intention of the folks who designed Augustana Chapel was that the paraments used in worship reflect that international mark of the LSTC community.

Currently, we have two sets of paraments that honor our international community. The scarlet set is made from Raj textile from India. It was purchased in 2003 and the paraments were used at the dedication of Augustana Chapel. Augustana’s blue set is made from Ewe cloth from Ghana.

After much discussion, the senior class has decided that we would like to add to this collection by giving a set of green paraments as our class gift. Our intention is to purchase fairly-traded cloth from artisans in Mexico, and with that cloth, make a chasuble, two stoles, and an altar frontal. We are currently corresponding with Marcario and Elena Pocop, a couple originally from Guatemala who fled to Mexico during the Guatemalan civil war in the early 1980s. Marcario and Elena are members of an artisans co-op in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

One of the reasons we chose to purchase cloth from Mexico is that the Youth in Mission students see the green paraments during their worship in Augustana chapel while they are in Chicago. We thought that it would be meaningful to make a connection for the entire LSTC community to our brothers and sisters in Mexico. Both the Youth in Mission students and LSTC students who participate in the ELCA Seminary’s Transformational Immersion program during J-term will have the opportunity to meet the artisans at CCIDD in Cuernavaca.

You can support the senior gift by attending the progressive dinner on March 20th, bidding on silent auction items this week, or writing a check to LSTC (include “senior class gift 2009” on the memo line and let Lynne Morrow know you donated by emailing her at

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