Catrina Cardenan cooks breakfast at New Course one morning. Cardenan is a trainee in the job-training program that prepares people for positions in the food industry.

events and serving breakfast and lunch. Starting as a sandwich shop, the ministry has trained more than 400 people, Knoll said, and 85 percent of them have gotten jobs. “We wanted to do something that wasn’t just

charity, such as teaching people to fish rather than giving them something to eat,” he said. Today, New Course is managed by an

outside company and is self-sustaining, but the congregation is still involved, with Knoll helping with the book keeping and serving on the ministry’s board. First Trinity’s ministry is inspiring other

congregations to think out of the box too. Its partner church, St. Matthew Lutheran near the D.C. waterfront, recently broke ground for a coffee shop. The Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop: Coffee with a Purpose will also be a job-training ministry, said Phil Huber, pastor of St. Matthew.

Stitching a future Last fall, Unity Lutheran Church in Hickory, N.C., started a sewing ministry called Sew Much Good. With a small grant from the North Carolina Synod, crowdsourcing and support from the congregation,

22 JANUARY 2018

Unity is teaching women to sew well enough to get a job or start a small home business. “We’re getting an incredible response,” said Kate

Crecelius, pastor of Unity. “Both the congregation and the community are behind us.” When Crecelius took the call at Unity last

January, she found a struggling congregation with 35 people in church on Sunday who were seeking new ways to be the church. She brought the idea of a sewing ministry, which

she’d launched at another church, to Unity’s council. With the congregation on board, the synod grant of almost $2,000 was used to buy 12 sewing machines. Fabrics, notions and other supplies were donated by the congregation, Safe Harbor Rescue Mission and the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry. Taught by Dawn Price, a retired family and

consumer science teacher, the eight-week sewing course last fall was attended by two young mothers and several retirees. With differing backgrounds, all the women were looking to learn a skill and for a way to connect with others, Crecelius said. “If they can demonstrate a mastery of skills, they

earn that sewing machine to take home and use for income, home decor, crafting or whatever,” she

Photo: Joel Kowsky Photography

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