Starting the celebration early: Card Ministry begins production for Christmas season

Christmas in July

Away from the sweltering July heat and in the cool confines of the Madison conference room are the women of the Card Ministry, crafting handmade cards for the Christmas season. They’ll make about 130 ornate Christmas cards in total, which will be given to volunteers during the holidays.

For the last three years, the ministry has been making unique cards for kids from the food pantry, home communicants, college students, new members, milestone anniversaries, baptisms, confirmation, and more. Last year, they made about 700 while this year they’re projected to make about 1,000 total cards.

The ministry was started in an effort between Emily Thomson, Ruth Paulson and Susie Cramer, who wanted to keep people connected to the church through personal interactions. Through Ruth’s experience volunteering with home communicants, she worked with one woman who felt very disconnected from the church and didn’t feel like the church remembered her anymore. Ruth wanted to find one more way to make connections beyond the church walls, and with Susie’s professional card making experience, they were able to link to create the ministry.

“The Card Ministry allows us to make personal interactions between the church and the congregation because we’re a large church, and often times you have a problem with making that personal connection just because you’re so large,” Ruth said. “Just by doing the card ministry, we’re making that connection.” 

The cards are signed by pastors and the milestone anniversary cards have the date on them, which Susie said many people have noted that the card felt personalized and made for them. For home communicants, the cards are a way to let them know that they’re still with Good Shepherd even if they’re not able to come to church.

“It’s not just an email, it’s a real, actual card that you can look at again and again,” Emily said. “It makes a difference.”

The Card Ministry meets every month in the Madison office. For more information on how to join, email Susie and Ruth at or pop by their next meeting on August 19 at 1 p.m. No previous card making experience is necessary and all skill levels are welcome.