St. John’s has a long standing practice of gifting individuals receiving baptism, graduates of high school and university, and others going through life transitions. It began with the baptism of infants. They were given a receiving blanket embroidered with their name and date of birth with the assurance they were, are and will always be ‘wrapped in God’s love.’ In the past recipients were typically children, but since my call to the congregation it has expanded a little. The recently widowed, widower-ed, moving away or into assisted living were given a prayer shawl or quilt, because in my mind, we are all ‘wrapped in God’s love.’
Recently in the presbytery there was an ordination of a young woman as a Minister of Word and Sacrament. It was a month short of my tenth anniversary of my own ordination. I was reminded of the prayer shawl a congregation in the presbytery gifted me on the night of my ordination. I had just finished a quilt intended for a congregation member recently entering a nursing home. Sadly, they only lived a few days beyond the transition. It is a quilt drenched in prayer and who needs it more than someone newly ordained.
This was intended to be a simple Trip Around the World quilt. Once I began placing the blocks on the design wall I decided I had to line up the strip blocks as much as possible. Durn OCD. Solving the puzzle was worth it, I think it turned out awesome!
Exodus 29:29 The sacred vestments of Aaron shall be passed on to his sons after him; they shall be anointed in them and ordained in them.
I’m only a year late posting last Christmas’ quilt and realizing it is time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas projects. This fabric was another find I couldn’t leave behind. It was a layer cake I bought at the IQS in Gimli, MB. The result was a lap quilt to donate to the church’s annual bazaar.
Alas, it did not sell. I gifted it to a wonderful and faithful member of the congregation. She does not get out to Sunday morning worship any longer. She has type of dementia that she handles fairly well by leaving post-in notes everywhere as a reminder. She would call me Mondays after she had attended church with appreciative words for the sermon. Not long after she would call again, same reason. And then again, and again, until she remembered to throw out the post-in note reminding her to call me to tell me she appreciated my sermon. It was a blessing.
I gave her this quilt at the end of the bazaar, just as she was preparing to leave. During her ride home she mentioned to the driver someone had given her a lovely quilt. The driver answered, “Yes, I know, the minister gave it to you.”
“Did she?! How thoughtful of her. A good preacher and generous too! Too bad I won’t remember to thank her.”
Psalm 119:49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.
As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, I am way beyond being a fabric collector. I see something I like and I buy it, without thought of what it might become, or when I might get around to using it.
Here is another case in point. I really, really, liked this fabric. It was the combinations of colours that caught my eye. They spoke Christmas to me. Luckily, I belonged to a small gift exchange in the congregation and I made a table runner and four place mats for the church secretary. She greatly dislikes birds, but assured me these were ‘okay.’
Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!