The Christmas Marketplace
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTSFW)—In the weeks before Christmas break, the Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), Food & Clothing Co-op holds the annual Christmas Marketplace, a time for refreshment, fellowship, and gifts for our students before they return home for the holidays. Alongside their families, these men and women pick out a quilt sewn by the ladies of LWMLs and congregation members from every corner of the country, register for the drawings for door prizes and gift baskets, and look forward to receiving gift cards for their use throughout the year.
Last year, every MDiv, AR, and residential deaconess student received over $300 in gift cards from local stores, restaurants, and gas stations for use by themselves and their families, totaling over $40,000 generously gifted by donors nationwide. And while the Christmas Marketplace does provide tangibly for the physical needs of these men and women, one of the greatest impacts is the intangible but powerful encouragement and joy these gifts bring to them in the Christmas season. The future pastors and deaconesses of our congregations already have a glimpse of how the Church cares for her laborers.
If you would like to contribute to this year’s Christmas Marketplace, you can send quilts, gift cards, or donate money to the Food & Clothing Co-op by December 1. Though this year’s Marketplace is taking place on Thursday, December 12, sending in items early assists the staff of the Co-op in prepping all gifts on time. Besides quilts, it would be a blessing to receive:
- Gift cards in increments of $10, $20, or $25 for use at local Fort Wayne merchants and national chain stores (Walmart, Kroger, Target, JCPenney, Meijer, Macy’s); restaurant chains (Applebees, Cracker Barrel, McDonald’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Pizza Hut, Red Robin, Subway, Texas Roadhouse, Wendy’s, etc.);
- Service station and gas cards from Shell, Marathon, BP, or Speedway in increments of $25 and above; or
- Cash gifts, which the Co-op staff may use to purchase either gift cards or dining hall lunch tickets. Lunch tickets are gifted to students who live off campus, allowing them to eat in the dining hall for lunch rather than pack in their meals from home.
Gifts can be dropped off in person or sent to:
Concordia Theological Seminary
Attn: Food & Clothing Co-op (Christmas Marketplace indicated in the gift)
6600 N. Clinton St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
Donations received after December 1 may be included in this year’s Marketplace to go towards an emergency care fund for students, or may be saved for next year. For questions or concerns, contact Deaconess Katherine Rittner, Director of the Food & Clothing Co-op, at Katherine.Rittner@ctsfw.edu or (260) 452-2168. Learn more about the Food & Clothing Co-op at www.ctsfw.edu/co-op.