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Messiah Lutheran’s Rummage Sale turns ‘discards into disaster relief’

MADISON – At Messiah Lutheran Church, organizers say their upcoming Rummage Sale will take ‘discards and turn them into disaster relief.’

The event attracts bargain seekers from around the area to find gently used household goods and clothing, along with house plants, that Messiah Lutheran members and friends of the church have donated.

Doors will open promptly at 8 a.m. on April 6 and will close at noon. Sale proceeds will benefit the efforts of the Southeastern Synod (ELCA) Disaster Response and the church’s youth travel fund.

(The word ‘Synod’ originates from Greek words that mean “walking together.” Congregations voluntarily choose to belong to the Synod.)

Paulette McNamara founded and continues to lead the rummage sale, which is celebrating its 30th year. “Paulette was invited to the first ever MLC Rummage Sale in 1994 after visiting the church shortly after relocating to Madison,” church spokesperson Meredith Kilby said.

“She and her husband soon joined Messiah. A few years later, Paulette recalled, ‘Someone . . . somewhere . . . somehow . . . talked me into being the person in charge!’” Kilby said.

Messiah Lutheran has held the sale annually since 1994 — except for three years: 2011 after the tornado outbreak and 2021-2022 because of COVID-19.

“One mainstay of the sale is to support missions and ministries that support Messiah’s local, regional and global partners,” Kilby said. “Supporting the ELCA’s Southeastern Synod’s Disaster Response efforts is driven by the prevalence of natural disasters occurring across the Synod’s boundaries of Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi.”

In recent years, Messiah Lutheran has planned a Disaster Response Mission trip that sends volunteers to help rebuild homes and hope of individuals affected by or still recovering from disasters, long after media attention has focused elsewhere.

“If anyone in the community is interested in joining this annual effort, please reach out to the church to connect. Trip details are in, but the trip will likely take place mid- to late-June,” Kilby said.

The other recipient of sale proceeds will be Messiah Lutheran Church’s youth to help their participation in faith-building gatherings across the synod and ELCA. “With major regional and local gatherings, Messiah youth and their families planned for the near future. It’s wonderful to have MLC youth committed to assisting with the sale,” Kilby said.

Volunteers work for two days to prepare for the sale. After the sale, Messiah Lutheran donates unsold items to local charity shops.

“Paulette and organizers are grateful for all the donated items that come in from members, neighbors and friends,” Kilby said. Individuals can bring goods to donate to the sale to Messiah Lutheran’s Parish Hall on April 4-5. For drop-off hours, visit mlutheran.org.

Sale organizers cannot accept large televisions, appliances or personal electronics.

Messiah Lutheran’s address is 7740 U.S. 72 W. For more information, call 256-721-0041, email office@mlutheran.org or visit mutheran.org.

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