Slice of St. Tammany: Mandeville church group stitches comfort into quilts

By Karen Baker

Special to The Advocate

Photo provided by Hosanna Quilters -- One of the 193 quilts on display at the Blessing of the Quilts at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville on May 5.
Photo provided by Hosanna Quilters -- One of the 193 quilts on display at the Blessing of the Quilts at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville on May 5.

When my daughter was born 19 years ago, her grandmother sent her a handmade quilt. “Bunny ears,” as it came to be known, bears the scars of many years of love and comfort. But what a comfort it was to a little girl.

A group of ladies at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Mandeville is quite familiar with the comfort value of a quilt. The Hosanna Quilters meet on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and every second Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall, turning donated pieces of fabric into beautiful works of quilted love. Once the quilts are completed, they are saved until the twice-yearly quilt blessing, after which they are distributed to one of several local charities.

The latest blessing took place at the church on May 5, when 193 handmade quilts adorned the sanctuary during 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services. Dar Barke, who leads the ministry that Bebe Stich began in 1999, said the quilts were sorted and packed the Monday after the blessing, going to several charities.

Some of the recipients include Samaritan Center, Project Linus, Crisis Pregnancy Center of Covington, St. Tammany Hospice, Legacy National Hospice, Lakeview Mental Health Services, Mwana Mission in Africa, and a grief camp for kids sponsored by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Hospice Foundation of the South.

Between 25 and 30 ladies are involved in Hosanna Quilters, Barke said, though anyone is welcome to join them. “We have such fun; we have just a great time.” In addition to the quilts that were blessed on May 5, Barke said, the quilters also made slipcover dresses for the African mission.

All fabric and material scraps are donated. “We take something people can’t use and turn it into something people can use,” she said. They turn it, actually, into something people can love. They even have “emergency calls,” Barke said, such as when two young boys were going into the hospital recently. The Hosanna Quilters came to the rescue: “One got a Curious George quilt and one got a Spider-Man.”

The quilts are labeled “Hosanna Quilters,” and a prayer card is included that says: “May this quilt bring you warmth, comfort, peace and hope. It was made with joy, love, and prayer, so that the ones who receive it can know that God loves them.”

“It is comforting for the people and for us, too,” Barke said, adding that anyone is welcome to join the group, regardless of religious affiliation or quilting expertise.

“We have many churches taking part, Episcopalians, Catholics, Baptists. And we sure have fun. We are happy to have anyone join us. We are a Christian ministry, so we do a devotion and pray for others. … And we have to have food. This is Louisiana, isn’t it?”

For more information on the Hosanna Quilters, call the church at (985) 727-9200. Hosanna is located at 2480 Hwy. 190 East in Mandeville.

Covington corner

The city of Covington will host its Jumpin’ Into Summer children’s event from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire St. It’s free, it’s fun, it’s got face painting, and it features the Zoo 2 U Petting Zoo, which will include goats, pigs, rabbits, a tortoise and more. For more information, call (985) 892-1873 or email schambless@covla.com

As part of the Covington bicentennial celebration, Covington will host a presentation titled “Reminiscing Covington’s Walker Percy” at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Greater Covington Center, 317 N. Jefferson Ave.

The event will look at the life and works of the famous author who made Covington his home.

It is free and open to the public, with a wine and cheese reception.

A Veterans Appreciation reception will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 27 at the Bogue Falaya Hall of the Greater Covington Center, 317 N. Jefferson Ave.

For more information, email gottaluvcov@covla.com

Patriotic concert

“Of Thee I Sing” will be performed at St. Timothy on the Northshore United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. May 26.

Program highlights include performances of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America” and a special Armed Forces Salute honoring active and veteran military personnel.

There will even be a chance for audience participation with a festive sing-a-long.

For information, call (985) 626-3307. The church is at 335 Asbury Drive in Mandeville.

Seminar on elder abuse

Social workers, counselors, nurses, attorneys and others who provide services to senior adults are invited to register before May 28 for the seventh annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day professional seminar, presented June 10 by the St. Tammany SALT Council at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell.

The seminar, titled “Forget Me Not,” will feature classes with continuing education credits.

The International Association of Forensic Nurses will send Dr. Daniel Sheridan to present a class.

Another nationally recognized expert, Candace Heisler, will present training for the Social Services track, offering insight into the relationship between domestic violence and elder abuse.

The cost for the seminar is $60 for those requiring CE and $45 for others, provided registration is completed by May 27. Registration is available online at www.stsalt.org, or call (985) 809-5455.

Auditions for ‘Les Mis’

Furhmann Performing Arts will hold auditions for the musical “Les Miserables” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday by appointment.

Auditions will be at Furhmann Auditorium located in the Greater Covington Center, 317 N. Jefferson Ave., in Covington.

The directors are looking for all roles — age appropriate. “Les Mis” is entirely sung, so actors must be able to sing well. Audtioners should prepare 16 bars of a song that shows off their talent.

Bring an accompaniment CD with you to the audition. To make an appointment, call (985) 867-8889 or email lynn@perkinsvideo.com.

The play will be performed Sept. 6 to Sept. 15 at Furhmann Auditorium.

Karen Baker writes about happenings in St. Tammany Parish. She can be reached at sliceoftammany@gmail.com.