Love “Bears” All Things

Posted on: December 8, 2021 | Categories: church profile, inspired | Featured in the December 2021 issue of Inspired


For over 30 years, The Sewing Group at St. James Lutheran Church, Lake Forest, has used their sewing and knitting talents to show “God’s Work, Our Hands” for children in LSSI’s foster care program in Chicago. The group has sewn hundreds of whimsical teddy bears and knitted just as many infant hats. The oldest member of the group is 96 and carefully cuts out all of the bear faces to be sewn. Their sewing/knitting sessions also provide wonderful fellowship as they use their talents for a shared cause.

“Children in our foster care program receive a [St. James] teddy bear soon after they come into our care,” said Debbie Saucedo, Associate Executive Director for LSSI’s Children’s Community Services in Cook County. “It helps soothe each child and gives them something to hug and call their own.”

“God seems to provide the people with the talents to do these different jobs,” said congregation member Ann Anderson, who coordinates the group. “It’s nice to get together, but it’s a social outing with meaning.”

In addition to their “hands-on” work, members of St. James have provided philanthropic support to LSSI over the years, including a $50,000 challenge grant that bolstered programming for the organization.