PHOTO: Clothing Giveaway volunteers at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Marlboro, get out the clothing racks to begin set-up for the 2018 event. This year, the Spring Clothing Giveaway will be on Saturday, May 11, from 10 am to noon. Pictured, from left: Leeann Brewitt, Marlea Dutt, Martha Domke, Barbara Parente, Yong Hee Spiller, and Maggie Leddy.
The warmth of spring and the heat of summer are approaching – really! With rising temperatures comes the need for a different wardrobe. When a family has an already stretched budget, and now faces gift giving occasions like weddings and graduations, along with food and clothing needs, the dollars may fall short. At the Spring Clothing Giveaway at Saint Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St. (Route 85), Marlboro on Saturday, May 11 from 10 am to noon, no dollars are needed. All the clothing is FREE, along with accessories such as costume jewelry, purses, shoes, belts, and scarves.
Clothing is in good to excellent condition. Most is arranged by size, with some on hangers, to create the feeling of shopping in a store. There are sections for men’s and women’s clothes, and a separate room for children’s clothing. Adult clothing is seasonal, but there may be fall items in the children’s room, recognizing that parents like to plan ahead for the next size and season. Shoppers can bring their own bag, or take a bag provided and fill it with whatever they can use. The event is open to the public, regardless of need; recycling advocates are welcome to this giveaway, just a few weeks after Earth Day.
Donated items come from Saint Stephen parishioners and friends who give clean, popular, wearable items that customers will take and use, believe they are helping not only individuals but also the earth, keeping good clothing out of landfills. Although the May 11 event will be the 12th giveaway the church has offered, donors seem to never empty their closets, and always have 1000s of items to offer. Martha Domke of Marlboro and Jane Woolsey of Hudson are co-leaders for the spring giveaway.
Five services at St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 537 Bolton St., Marlborough, will mark the week of April 14-21. The Christian Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday on April 14. The 9:30 am service will start outside, weather permitting, where worshipers will be given palms, and process into the church. “Like those in Jerusalem, we raise our palms in adoration of Jesus as he enters the holy city,” said Pastor Joseph Graumann. The choir anthem, “Cry Out Hosanna! Hosanna!” by Gilbert M. Martin will reflect the theme.
The next two services take place on Maundy Thursday, April 18, when those gathered will commemorate Jesus’ last supper with his friends, and Good Friday, April 19, when worshipers will hear how an instrument of death becomes for Christians the tree of life. Both services will be at 7:00 p.m. and each will include special music.
Candlelight, contemplation, cross decoration, communion, and even a christening will all be part of the Saturday, April 20 Easter Vigil that begins outside at 7:15 pm, just before sunset. Take a break from Easter preparations to hear parishioners’ personal stories based on biblical texts, and share in the joy of both a baptism, and the reveal of what the St. Stephen Art Guild has created for the large outside cross.
“As our annual Easter art project, we will cover the cross in stained-glass like colors, showing us that the cross is the lens through which God’s light shines,” said Pastor Graumann. In previous years, the cross was arrayed in a hand knit coat of yarn squares, and wreathed in flowers. Baptism is a much older Easter Vigil tradition, the pastor notes. “Since the early church, Christians have traditionally baptized newcomers at Easter Vigil. This year, as we celebrate Jesus’ passover through death into life, we rejoice in baptizing a new member.”