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Witnessing Through Serving

Witnessing Through Serving
Evangelical Lutheran Worship commemorates Lydia, Dorcas, and Phoebe, witnesses to the faith, on January 27.


by Gwen Gotsch

I come from a family of knitters and quilters, watercolorists and china painters. When we gather on Christmas or the Fourth of July or visit in each other’s homes, there’s usually a period of “show and tell.” We bring out our latest projects--the quilt top, the sweater still on the needles, lap robes crocheted for the patients at the VA hospital. We touch them, admire them, look at the tiny stitches.

We talk about the color choices, what went well with the project and what we wish we’d done better. If we haven’t brought something with us, chances are we have photos. My aunt, a member of a quilting circle at her rural church, reports on the quilts completed and sent off to Lutheran World Relief.

The apostle Peter ran into a show and tell session like this when he came to pay a pastoral visit at the home of Dorcas, in the city of Joppa. Dorcas had died, and the women who knew her had gathered at her home, to mourn and console one another (Acts 9:36-41). When Peter arrived from a nearby town, he had to wade through a sea of widows, each one with a story about Dorcas’s kindness to her, each one showing him a garment made by Dorcas.

Gwen Gotsch is Communications Coordinator at Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest, Ill., where she also directs choirs for children and teens.

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