(This is the second of a two-part post on MLC’s Kit and Quilt Blessing which took place on Sunday August 16th)
Sunday, August 16th, 2015 was “Kit and Quilt” Sunday at Messiah. One need not look far to realize what day it was. Over one hundred handmade quilts, sewn by the Comforters sewing group covered Messiah’s sanctuary. Sturdy stacks of U-Haul boxes, all filled with Lutheran World Relief kits and supplies lined the wall behind the altar below Messiah’s stained glass window of Jesus. Special music for both services was presented by Celia Whitler and Keith Hodges who taught the children how to sing and sign Jesus Loves Me during the Children’s Sermon.
Two temple talks were presented in connection with this special day. Rhonda Gaede spoke on her work as a “minion” for the Kit Ministry. Annette Joens provided a detailed breakdown on the quilts, blankets and prayer shawls crafted by Messiah’s Comforters Sewing group.
Messiah’s Comforters Sewing Group
This dedicated group of women meet nearly every Tuesday morning at 10 AM in Messiah’s Fellow
ship Hall to cut, piece, sew and tie quilts when are then sent to a number of mission organizations local and abroad. These simple, yet colorful square block quilts are fashioned from yards and yards of donated fabric that is gathered up throughout the year by the groups members or donated by church members. Fancier, more ornate quilts are also made, and these go into the annual quilt auction to raise funds for the group to help cover costs for backing and batting and other sewing notions.
A running tally of finished quilts and other items is kept in the storage closet to help track their production pace. “Whatever we did last year, plus at least one more is the goal.” said Elaine Shriver, a member of the group for many years. This year they surpassed their prior year’s total of 140 and made 149.
Annette Joens provided a run down of just where exactly these 149 handmade quilts go during her Sunday Temple Talk. On Tuesday, 136 of the newly commissioned quilts were packed into over a dozen boxes to prepare them for shipment to Lutheran World Relief’s Quilt Mission. This year the group was excited to use LWR’s tracking service designed to let groups see where quilts are sent worldwide. “It sure will be neat to see where they go!” added one Comforter as she closed up a box with packing tape.
This past year, the Comforter group has produced and distributed all of the following items:
- 136 – To Lutheran World Relief. LWR distributes these around the world to people needing a warm blanket, shelter from the hot sun, or even a backpack to carry their belongings.
- 4 – Downtown Rescue Mission
- 3 – Quilts to Habitat Children
- 4 – Foster Children
Blankets, Prayer Shawls and Lap Robes
- 38 Fleece Blankets were given to the Downtown Rescue Mission to distribute to the homeless.
- 36 Fleece Throws went to the children at the Salvation Army Mission.
- 27 prayer shawls and 24 lap robes. Prayer shawls are lap robes are available to anyone who need some comfort and prayers.
The Comforters are always looking for an extra pair of hands willing to get involved. They meet nearly every Tuesday morning in the Fellowship Hall at 10 AM. No sewing experience necessary and you do not need to be a member of Messiah to participate. Individuals who would like more information, or who know someone who might benefit from having a prayer shawl or lap robe, may contact the church office or Messiah’s Director of Outreach, Claire Strand.
Members of the Comforters group include: Carol Alley, Jeannette Beamer, Carolyn Carter, Diane Kline, Jutta DeMarsh, Derelene Jeter, Judy Kidd, Linda Ruhl, Linda Boehme, Lori Mahanna, Paulette MacNamara, Ellie Nelson, Diane Oliver, Elaine Shriver, Charlotte Fanning, Joy Clavin, Leslie Leeper and Diane Warner.