I needed a Halloween costume for my daughter. Thanks to Pinterest I had the perfect idea for her and a picture to go with it. Yet, no bone in my body could do the work and creativity of piecing it together. There wasn’t much thought about where I would turn to seek help for my daughter’s costume.
Help would hopefully be found in the church basement on Monday mornings.
For on Monday mornings in Cole Camp you’ll be met with hands tying knots, cutting fabric, and putting pieces together to create beautiful quilts.
They are the sewing ladies who meet every Monday throughout most of the year.
They are the women who put together quilts to be sent throughout the community and the world.
They are the women who prayerfully stitch their hearts and love into each quilt.
And they would be the women I’d turn to in search of costume help.
Each Monday at St. Paul’s Lutheran church a group of women come together to create. When you find them you’ll notice they all have their job to do, they have a place to work, and stations for each part of the quilt-making process. Since I know nothing about making Halloween costumes, I also know nothing of quilt-making. So my appreciation for the work they do comes not from a sense of understanding but from a place of pure awe. And gratitude for the time and effort it takes week after week to make hundreds of quilts every year.
I imagine that these women have been through much together. Loss of relationships, death of loved ones, changes in the church and the community, belief and doubt, marriages and childbirths, fears and joys. And through it all, they’ve gathered on Monday mornings to quilt.
They stitched and cut and tied their way through life, together.
I believe every church has those groups that have weathered the years, changes, and storms of life. Maybe it’s a tight-knit Bible study group, or the youth group that has grown up together. Or maybe it’s a small-group who barely knew each other when they began meeting and somehow became family through their prayers and sharing together. Maybe it’s a service group. Maybe confirmation mentors. Groups of people who come together for a greater purpose, groups who trust that together they can do more.
More sharing, more loving, more praying, and more serving.
I look at these groups of people in different churches and I look at the sewing ladies, and I see hope for the church. I see commitment and dedication – one stitch at a time.
One stitch at a time, prayers are offered.
One stitch at a time, hope given.
One stitch at a time, relationships restored.
One stitch at a time, good news heard.
Yes, the sewing ladies agreed to help me with the Halloween costume. My daughter will have a costume that just like the quilts they make will be made with love and prayers.
We often wonder what we can do in the face of such challenges in this world. How we can make a difference. How we can do something when we feel so small and the world so big. For me I’ll look to the sewing ladies and all those other groups of church people doing good in their communities recognizing that one step at a time can bring us to God’s good news, just as hundreds of quilts each year begin with one stitch.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. Her website is http://www.kimberlyknowlezeller.com