Frequently Asked Questions
 

Maybe you have a question or have encountered a situation and you would like an opinion. Or you have come across a stumbling block and need to know what other chapters have done. Sometimes, you just need help with a quilting question. Whatever your questions, this is the place for it. You may also answer posted questions by clicking on the same link. We hope that this page will be a way for chapters to share problems, solutions and information with one another. Email your question or comment about a question shown here

Questions are organized into the following topics:

BEGINNING A NEW CHAPTER

~Q~ We haven’t yet made a decision about Prayers & Squares membership, but would like to know where can we get materials and information about your organization?

~A~ Information about Prayers & Squares is available on our website. Go to the Before You Join page for a lot of good information about the ministry as well as links to explore that will help you learn almost everything you might want to know about this ministry. If you have additional questions that we have not answered, click onto the Contact Us page of the website and let us know how we can help.  We will get back to you as soon as possible.

~Q~ We’ve just decided to start a Prayers and Squares Chapter.  Where do we begin?

~A~ The decision to join Prayers and Squares is the beginning of a new and exciting journey, and letting the Lord lead your chapter will bring you surprises, challenges, blessings, and stories almost unimaginable.  The resources available to you as a chapter are numerous. Chances are, there are other chapters close to you geographically, and those chapters can be a wonderful source of support, encouragement, and fellowship. As an important first step, you will want to speak with your pastoral team to ensure that this is a ministry they want to support. Let them know what Prayers & Squares is, how you see Prayers & Squares as a ministry in your community of faith, what it is that you want to do as a chapter, and of course be sure to outline the three rules that apply to all chapters (you cannot sell a prayer quilt; you must ask the recipient what they would like prayers for and if they will accept the prayer quilt; and the focus must be on prayer).  It is important you stress this is not a quilting ministry – this ministry is about prayer, and about giving the recipients a tangible sign of God’s love.  With your pastoral team in your corner, you are clearly on your way.

Send in your application to establish a chapter of Prayers & Squares. You can either do this on-line through the website, or you can print out an application from the website and mail it in.  Once we receive your application, you will receive a “New Member Packet”.  That new member packet will include a welcome letter, chapter certification, a number of documents you will certainly find informative about the various aspects of the ministry, and a Prayes & Squares zipper bag of quilting materials, i.e. quilting pins, #5 pearl cotton (for the ties in the prayer quilt) embroidery needles (to put the ties in the quilt), a supply of labels (to be sewn on the back of each prayer quilt), a permanent marking pen (to write the recipient’s name and date on the label), and some washing instruction tags (to be attached to the back of each prayer quilt).  Refer to the documents About Prayers & Squares, the Prayer Quilt Ministry”, and Getting Started with Prayers & Squares, the Prayer Quilt Ministry(pdf files).

~Q~ Where will those first important quilts come from? 

~A~ As a beginning chapter, and before you are able to have that important stash of quilts in your closet that established chapters may have occasionally, those first quilts can come from a number of sources. If there is an established Prayers & Squares chapter in your area, hopefully you will have already made contact with them for guidance and support. Some of those established chapters may be able to donate a few prayer quilts. It is surprising where those first quilts come from – let your imagination and your prayers be your guide.

While any quilt takes time to make, there are ways to speed up the process significantly. Consider making those first quilts panel quilts; both fabric stores and quilt shops usually have a good selection of panels that only require layering, pinning, binding, and sewing ties into the quilt. You could also choose a really pretty fabric for the front, a soft flannel for the backing, layer it with your batting, and just make a nice “whole-cloth” quilt.  The prayers for a panel or whole-cloth quilt are just as effective as for one that is pieced. Additionally, use very simple patterns (see P&S website) to make those first quilts quickly.  These are also good suggestions in emergency situations.  As you grow as a ministry and find you are tying several quilts a week, keeping the patterns you use simple is still a good way to keep up with the demand for prayer quilts.  (Note:  Refer to the document “Making Prayer Quilts” on the website and in a chapter’s new member packet.)

~Q~ What would be considered reasonable time frames between request and delivery of a prayer quilt?

~A~ There is no hard and fast rule, but we like to promise a prayer quilt within 2 weeks from the request, and that is reasonable considering the amount of time and effort that goes into making the quilt, and because the prayer quilts are tied usually only on Sunday as part of the worship experience.  With that said, however, once you have a stash of quilts in your closet to draw from, you can usually respond so that the prayer quilt is tied on the Sunday following the request. Chapters use other avenues where there is a need to respond more immediately. One of these avenues is the prayer square, where the rules that apply to prayer quilts do not apply. 

~Q~ Can a single chapter be comprised of more than one church?

~A~ Definitely, as long as together you work out how the prayer quilts will be presented for tying, and as long as the focus is the prayers. It was and continues to be the desire of the Prayers & Squares governing Board of Directors to keep the rules for chapter membership as simple as possible so that chapters may take their individual prayer quilt ministries in whatever direction the Spirit leads, unencumbered by a lot of restrictions.  So, as long as the three basic rules of Prayers & Squares are followed, the rest is up to you. We have chapters that are comprised of more than one congregation, and we have chapters that are non-church groups.

~Q~ How do we get our supply of labels that go on the back of the prayer quilt?

~A~ Just go to the Prayers & Squares website to order labels. The website is very user friendly. From the Home page, you go to For Our Members, then Order P&S Labels, and you then have the option of (1) ordering online, (2) printing out the order form and mailing it in, or (3) downloading a template to print your own labels using pre-treated fabric. And of course if you have questions, just click on to Contact Us and one of the Board members will respond to you.

~Q~ Where do we get the washing instruction tags that are to be attached to the back of each prayer quilt?

~A~ Several copies of the washing instruction tag are provided as well as a sheet of tags that can be used as a template for either personalizing and/or copying onto heavier card stock. 

MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS

~Q~ We will be celebrating our one year anniversary soon. I was wondering if we will be contacted about renewing our membership.

~A~ We do not have annual renewals. Once you have joined as an official chapter of Prayers & Squares, you will remain on our active membership list unless you tell us otherwise. A small group of volunteers handles all of the administrative duties, and our "home office" is our website, so our operating expenses are very low. We would rather have you put your funds into buying supplies so you can make more quilts and spread more prayer throughout the world.

PRAYER QUILT REQUESTS

~Q~ How will we get that first request if no one knows about Prayers & Squares?

~A~ Once you’ve spoken with your pastoral team and your congregation, and have asked for and been given their support, we’re sure the requests will begin coming in, especially if those who would be potential requestors know who to contact to request a prayer quilt.  With that said, at the point at which you are ready to start receiving requests, usually, there is at least one individual in your congregation that comes to mind who is experiencing difficulties and who might like to be “covered” with prayer.  You might approach that individual, and ask them if they would like a prayer quilt.  If the individual’s response is positive, you will have a wonderful way to introduce this ministry to your congregation by showing the prayer quilt to your congregation during worship, telling them about the recipient and what prayers the recipient is requesting, and finally inviting your congregation to tie a knot and say a prayer, during or after worship.

Other ways to get the word out to the congregation include, but certainly are not limited to, giving short briefings to some of the small groups in your church, writing an article in your church’s newspaper/newsletter, writing an article to be included as an insert in your worship bulletin, doing a presentation to your Sunday School.  Remember, this is a ministry that everyone in your congregation can participate in.

 However you handle getting the word out, make sure your focus is on offering prayers to others – this is a prayer ministry, not a quilting ministry.  (Note:  Refer to document “Getting Started with Prayers & Squares, the Prayer Quilt Ministry”, found on the website or in a chapter’s new member packet.)

~Q~ Can you give us some guidelines on how to handle prayer quilt requests so that we give the requests the quick and sensitive response they deserve?

~A~ It is important to set up guidelines for the processing of prayer quilt requests so that the members of your ministry, the pastoral team, the congregation, and potential requestors and recipients, all know what the steps are in requesting, tying and delivering the prayer quilts.  Once these guidelines are in place, stick to them so everyone will become familiar with how the ministry works, how to request a prayer quilt, and what everyone can expect.  We have found that identifying and announcing a single point of contact from whom to request a prayer quilt saves on a lot of confusion, and make any record keeping that much easier.  This single point of contact is sometimes the staff person who has been assigned the responsibility for Prayers & Squares ministry support.  This point of contact, whether a part of the staff, a member of the chapter, or someone else, would be the initial contact with those requesting prayer quilts either for themselves or someone else.  In many churches, the person requesting a quilt (the sponsor) must be a regular part of the congregation.    

~Q~ Can you give us some guidance on what we need to think about in determining who gets a prayer quilt, or is this even appropriate?

~A~ One thing to keep in mind first of all is that this is a caring ministry, not a celebratory one.  Prayer quilts are not appropriate for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, or as any other type of “gift”, or as a surprise.  The prayer quilt is appropriate for someone, anyone, who is experiencing physical, emotional, spiritual, or some other life crisis, and who feels they could benefit from being “covered in prayer”, with the quilt being that tangible sign of God’s ever present Grace, available to all of us. It only gets sticky when people start to play the “who is worthy of a quilt” game. We do not believe that it is our place to make a judgment on whether or not a request for a prayer quilt is “deserving”. We have all been “the least, the last, the lost” at some time in our lives. We believe we are channels of God’s grace, called to this ministry, and it is our job to be His hands and listen.

If you have questions, or want to discuss, contact us through the website or ask your pastor for advice. This is rarely a problem.

~Q~ Who should be responsible for postage/mailing when the requested prayer quilt is going out of the city, out of the state, or out of the country?

~A~ Once the quilt is tied, the person who has requested the quilt, or “sponsor”, is then normally responsible for delivering the quilt to the recipient, and that would of course include mailing, if necessary. If the “sponsor” is unable to do so, you might want to address that situation in your guidelines. In all honesty, this has never been a problem.

~Q~ There are occasions when we would like to respond to an individual more immediately, or we would like to respond to an individual experiencing some difficulties, not really a crisis, but the person does not either want or feel it is appropriate to receive a prayer quilt.  Are there things that some of your chapters are doing that would be more appropriate in these instances than a prayer quilt?

~A~ One immediate thing that comes to mind is a “prayer square”.  There are many churches that make use of prayer squares. The size of the prayer square (12 to 18 inches square), is small enough that they can be quickly made, a pretty good sized stash can be built up in a relatively short period of time, and is good in situations where a prayer quilt is obviously not called for or wanted. The ties are much the same as those that go into a prayer quilt, though there are usually not more than 12 to 15 ties sewn into a square. And because it is not a “prayer quilt”, the rules that apply to prayer quilts do not apply to prayer squares.

The giving out of prayer squares is handled very informally, and they are given in situations where a prayer quilt has not been requested, but we know the individual is in need of prayer, or when time is a factor. As far as the tying of prayers into the squares, the knots can be tied by staff members, family, friends, or even left wholly or partially untied so that the recipient can have family and friends tie prayers into the square.

Some chapters have told us they keep a stack of untied prayer squares in the church office where the clergy and many of the other prayer ministry groups use them as needed in their work, in emergencies, and for hospital visits.  In an emergency situation such as unexpected surgeries, accidents, etc, because of the small number of ties, it is easy for the person giving the prayer square to pray with the family/friends/hospital staff and then to leave the tied square with the recipient.

 

QUILTS AND PATTERNS

~Q~ Where are the best places to go to get the material and supplies necessary to make the quilts, taking into account the obvious financial considerations?

~A~ Most of us get our supplies from fabric shops such as Joann’s (where the cost of fabric is considerably less than at quilt shops), from fabric outlet warehouses (usually in major metropolitan areas).  If you are fortunate enough to have a Joann’s in your area, you can make maximum use of the 40% off coupons that frequent shoppers of that store get on a regular basis.  We especially use those coupons for the higher priced items such as cutting mats, rotary cutters and blades, rulers, and all of those other tools needed for quilting.   

New chapters can get started by requesting donations of or money for fabric (100% cotton), batting and quilting supplies from your congregation, from family, friends, and you may even find yourselves getting donations from local quilt or fabric shops if you explain to them what you are doing.  It is indeed amazing, but when the word goes out about what you need, so many respond.

Older, more established chapters, have had the time to collect cutting boards, rotary cutters, rulers, and other supplies, making those items available to all their quilters, and have had the time to build their stashes of material from people cleaning out their stacks of unused/unwanted material, from individual donations of material, from estate sales, from special purchases of closing fabric shops, etc.  One chapter had such a large donation of material that they shared it with all of the other chapters in the area, and everyone in the area benefited.  

~Q~ There are so many different kinds of batting.  Is there one that is better to use for prayer quilts?

~A~ There are a lot of different battings to choose from.  You want one that wears well especially if it is to be completely held together with the ties, washes well, is light weight, and is easy to sew ties into.  The 4 oz. polyester batting is a good choice, though certainly not the only choice.  The 4 oz. polyester batting is available at Joann’s, and those who regularly shop at Joann’s receive frequent 40% off coupons that can be used to buy batting for your chapter.

~Q~ Where can we find patterns for beginners as well as more advanced quilters?

~A~ You can access some patterns by clicking on to the All About Quilts page on the website, and many additional patterns on the For Our Members page.  This members-only page does require a user ID and password.  If you belong to a P & S chapter and don’t have that information, get in touch with your chapter’s leader or contact point, or Contact Us through the website, and we will e-mail you that information.  None of the patterns on the website are especially difficult; however, some are more time consuming than others, and we are sure you’ll find patterns that can be enjoyed by the novice as well as the more experienced quilter.

One suggestion we would like to make is to keep the patterns for your prayer quilts as simple as possible especially where the volume of requests is high. 

~Q~ Are prayer quilts made individually or as a group?

~A~ Most quilts, or at least the quilt tops, are made individually.  Each person has their own personal ¼ inch seam (which is the standard seam in quilting) and you would be amazed at how many variations there are on a ¼ inch seam.  So, making a quilt as a group, with each person contributing blocks, can result in blocks of varying sizes, which as a number of chapters can attest to, doesn’t work very well when you are then trying to sew the blocks together into a quilt.  Now if everyone in your chapter has a perfect ¼ inch seam, and all your blocks come out the very same size, go for it.  Many individuals get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from making a prayer quilt, or at least the top, from the beginning, individually.  Also, with each of your quilters making a quilt top individually, using different colors and fabrics, you may find more quilts getting made, and faster.

In some chapters, the individual makes the entire quilt, including attaching the label, tag and ties.  In some chapters, particularly those where space is a factor, only the quilt tops are finished, and they remain that way until a prayer quilt is needed, at which time a top is selected and the prayer quilt finished.  In many chapters, there are individuals who wanted to be involved in the ministry but don’t like to do the piecing and sewing, and who do things like ironing or putting the ties in the quilts.

Chapters usually have workshops on at least a monthly basis, and many chapters get together to work on their quilts more often.  During those workshops, we pray, discuss the various directions to which this ministry is leading us, show and turn in our finished quilts, and help each other with quilting problems we may have encountered.  In some chapters, the monthly workshop is also used to learn a new quilt pattern with kits available that include all the material needed to finish a quilt top using that new pattern.

~Q~ Are the Prayers & Squares labels washer-safe?

~A~ The fabric labels supplied by Prayers & Squares are washable. Chapters who download the label template need to be sure to use fabric transfer paper that will result in a label that is washer-safe.

~Q~ I love the idea of a cross on the back of the Prayer Quilts. But how is it done? I am a new quilter.

~A~ The pattern for making quilt backs with a cross sewn in is on the patterns page.

* Note:  There is a lot of information on the website regarding patterns and quilting.  Check out, again on the website, All About Quilts, For Our Members, and Astrid’s Corner under the For Our Members page. Also, in the new member packet, refer to “Making Prayer Quilts” for more information.

TYING YOUR PRAYER QUILTS

~Q~ What is the best way to present the quilts to the congregation for tying?

~A~ There are so very many ways to present the prayer quilts to the congregation for tying. While several will be outlined here, do whatever works best within your congregation, while keeping the focus on the prayers. 

In some smaller churches, the prayer quilts are hung over altar rails, with the recipients lifted in prayer during worship prayer time, and then the quilts are tied as they hang on the altar rail either during or after worship. 

In one church, the quilts are folded in a pile in the sanctuary, and during worship prayer time the pastor picks up each quilt, asks the recipient to come forward if they are able and available, both the recipient and the pastor hold the quilt up as it is blessed.  Following the service, the quilts are then located on a table for the congregation to tie knots and say prayers.

In another church, the “sponsor” or the one who has requested the quilt is asked to present the quilt to the congregation with a picture of the recipient.

Another church places a picture of the recipient with the prayer quilt request in a gold frame that sits on a table with the quilt.

In many congregations, the quilts are hung somewhere near the altar or chancel area, the pastor lifts the recipients of the quilts in prayer during worship prayer time, and the congregation is invited to tie a knot and say a prayer for the recipients of the quilts following the worship services.  If the narthex area is large enough, quilts are laid out on a table or tables where the congregation can tie a knot and say a prayer as they leave the sanctuary.  There is also a sign near each quilt with a little about the recipient and what prayers they are asking for.

Wherever or however the prayer quilts are tied, it is important that a spirit of prayer is maintained.

These are just a few ways that current chapters are handling the tying of their prayer quilts. Every chapter has their own style, so work with your pastor(s) to figure out the best way to lift the quilts in prayer, tie the knots into them, and how to get them to the recipient.

~Q~ What kind of thread should we use for the ties, how many strands should there be in each individual tie, how long should each tie be, and how many ties should we put into a 40-60 inch prayer quilt?

~A~ The kind of thread you use, the length and number of the ties, and how the threads are tied, are entirely up to you.

With that said, we have found that #5 pearl cotton makes excellent ties. It is strong and durable, comes in a wide variety of colors, and is readily available at Joann’s, Michael’s and at a number of quilting and knit shops.  You might even find that some shops will give you a discount when you are buying a large quantity and they know what you are using it for. Additionally, once tied, the thread is heavy enough that the quilt recipient will be able to feel the knots and know the prayers they represent.

When sewing the ties into the quilt, you might try doubling your thread. That gives additional strength and durability to the ties.  Leave the ends at least 3-4 inches long as some folks have trouble tying a knot where the length of the thread is any shorter.  

Leaving the knotted ties untrimmed allows family and friends to tie prayers into the quilt for the recipient after the quilt leaves the church. In addition, as others in contact with the prayer quilt recipient learn of the reason for the quilt and what the ties represent, many also want to tie knots and say their own prayers for the recipient, and leaving the ties untrimmed allows for many more prayers to be tied into the quilt.

For a quilt 40x60 inches, somewhere between 70 and 100 ties is a pretty good number; you want enough to hold the layers together and to give you an adequate number of ties, but not so many that the quilt looks shaggy.

The strongest, and longest lasting knot, and one that is easy to tie is the square knot. It is an easy knot to teach, and educating your congregation should be fairly easy as most people already know how to tie a square knot.

*Note:  Check out the documents Making Prayer Quiltsand How to tie a Prayer Quilt for information on ties and tying prayer quilts.  

FUNDRAISING

~Q~ What can we do when requests outpace funds?

~A~ While some chapters are line items in their church’s budget, most rely on fundraising and donations for what they need to operate as a chapter.  At an early annual Prayers & Squares conference, we held a long discussion on the possibilities for fundraising.  Following are some of the options we discussed.  All of these are certainly dependent on policies and pastoral/staff support within your own churches.  We’re sure as you look through this list, you’ll also think of other ways to raise funds for your chapter.

  • Personal donations from outside sources (remember that we don’t sell prayer quilts)
  • Fabric donations
  • Craft Fairs – some churches participate in preschool and other types of craft fairs with a booth of quilted or fabric items for sale, made and donated by Prayers & Squares members.
  • Alternative Christmas - Your church can list you as one of the recipients of money that people are willing to spend on “alternative” gifts for others. (A gift for someone who has everything?)
  • Consider a pastoral discussion during worship about the wonders and costs of the ministry. This may become “Prayer Quilt Sunday” where all of the change in the offering plates goes to the ministry or a special collection specifically for the ministry. This works well when members of the congregation are invited to stand if they have requested a quilt, received a quilt, or are part of the ministry.
  • Listing the ministry as a line item in the church budget.
  • Encouraging people outside of the ministry to become involved as “batting angels” or “fabric buyers” so that they can become a part of the ministry.
  • Making your Prayer Quilt Ministry the “Mission” component in a Vacation Bible School program. Children are educated about the ministry, participate in the making of children’s quilts, and are asked to bring $2 or a yard of 100% cotton as their contribution. (This was fun!)
  • Asking people who want to celebrate you birthday or special occasion to make a donation to the ministry instead of buying gifts.

~Q~ Is it OK to request donations of fabric?

~A~ Absolutely. Feel free to ask for donations of fabric, scraps, batting and sewing supplies to support your chapter's efforts.

ADMINISTRATION

~Q~ How do we handle requests for interviews and television spots?

~A~ There have been a number of interviews conducted, and articles written about Prayers & Squares that have been published in newspapers, magazines, and seen on local television shows. We are blessed to see how, through this ministry, we are continuing to help cover the world in prayer. As of  January 2017 Prayers & Squares is over 1230 chapters strong and growing. The publication of a recent book about us, “Fabric of Faith – A Guide To The Prayer Quilt Ministry” by Kimberly Winston has also increased interest in this ministry. If the media contacts you, we recommend that you include our website, www.prayerquilt.org, for any further information needed.

Some chapters have voiced concern about not wanting to appear to be “tooting our own horn”.   While we certainly don’t want to be doing that, go ahead and write up those articles, and participate in those interviews, realizing that what you are doing may be the only way many may have of hearing and learning about this ministry, and then becoming a part of it.  Let the Holy Spirit work through all of us as we, Prayers & Squares, spread the good news of our Lord, continue in our efforts to cover the world in prayer, and grow as an organization.

~Q~ How do we get the forms we need (i.e. prayer request form, washing instruction tags, etc.)?

~A~ All of the forms and documents developed by Prayers & Squares that are needed to function as a chapter are provided in the new member packets. These packets are mailed out to all new chapters. It is OK to reproduce those forms and documents for Prayers & Squares use.

Those forms and documents will also soon be available on the website on the “For Our Members” page.

~Q~ How many people does it take to operate this ministry?

~A~ Let’s look at, not only the volunteers you need to operate this ministry, but also a task list that you can use as a guide.  As you will see in the following list, there are many tasks that do not require quilting skills.  And this list is just a guide, to be added to and subtracted from, as the needs and desires of your chapter dictate. 

  • Leader/co-leaders, someone who is a guiding force for the chapter - It is not necessary to be a quilter to lead this ministry forward.  For purposes of the Prayers & Squares organization, there needs to be a contact person, with e-mail, to act as liaison between your chapter, other chapters, and the P&S organization.  This may be the leader or someone else.  As a nonprofit organizatin run solely by volunteers,, being able to contact chapters through the Internet is essential. 
  • A point of contact for prayer quilt requests – Usually a single point of contact, known to all, lessens the confusion when someone wants to request a prayer quilt.
  • A Treasurer – to handle donations, receipts, expenditures, and thank you notes to donors, etc.
  • A small group of individuals dedicated to the ministry – This group will provide support to the leader, as well as bring together ideas and thoughts on how you want the ministry to function.
  • Sewers/Quilters – These individuals are essential.
  • Individuals to sort through fabric donations and organize – Many chapters have a room, or a portion of a room where supplies and a fabric stash are kept, and available to all your quilters.
  • Photographer if you want pictures of the prayer quilts.
  • Scrapbook person if you want to put the quilt requests, pictures of the quilts, and thank you notes in an album.
  • Individual(s) responsible for the quilts being in worship, and then following the quilt from worship to the tying of knots to delivery to the sponsor, in accordance with whatever guidelines are in place for the chapters.

~Q~ Would like to know what other chapters are doing to keep photos and records of the quilts they have made.  I understand that this is being done, but I’m unable to find any information on how.  And, how important is it to keep these photos and records?

~A~ The choice either to keep records or not to keep records is entirely up to individual chapters. 

One of the documents in the new member packet is a prayer request form.  Keeping that form, or one that you develop yourself, on each quilt requested is a good idea.  That completed form gives you a record of the number of prayer quilts you are making, tying, and giving, and the form gives you plenty of room for any other information you may choose to keep.

Many chapters also keep photo albums that may include the prayer request forms, photographs of the quilts, any photographs of the recipient with the quilt, any thank you notes received, photographs of workshops, fairs, fundraising efforts, and the list goes on.  These albums or books can be very useful in promoting the ministry and participating in workshops.  These books are also a way in which your group can read thank you notes from the recipients of the quilts.  Those thank you notes help keep us inspired to do what we do.  That being said, keeping such extensive records with photographs is also time consuming, especially if your church is tying more than 1 or 2 quilts each week.  If you choose to keep such extensive records, perhaps you will have someone in your chapter or church who feels called to take on this kind of project.

So, keep whatever records you feel are important for your chapter.  Our only suggestion would be to keep it simple.

~Q~ Are there reporting requirements we need to comply with (where we are required to tell you what we are doing); is there any special format we need to use?

~A~ There are no required reports.  However, at Prayers & Squares conferences, we do invite participating chapters to share what they’ve done over the past year(s).  Chapters use poster boards and other visual supplies, with pictures and commentary.  This is very informal – no formal presentation.  Normally, at the conference, an area is set aside for these poster boards so that as the conference proceeds, participants can stroll at their leisure to see what other chapters are doing.

NURTURING AND ENCOURAGING YOUR CHAPTER

~Q~ I’m looking for ways to encourage and inspire our chapter members.  Any ideas?

~A~ There are many ways to encourage and inspire your chapter members.  We’ll outline a few for you here, and we’re sure you’ll also think of others.

One of the ways we remain inspired is through the many stories and notes attesting to the huge impact that this ministry has and will continue to have on everyone who has anything to do with this ministry – the recipients of the quilts, the makers of the quilts, all who tie prayers into the quilts, and all of those people who come in contact with the recipients and their prayer quilts (family, friends, medical personnel, caregivers, and the list could go on and on and on…

To access these stories and notes, begin by looking within your own chapter at the thank you notes that we all receive from the recipients and their friends and family.  These notes share with us the thankfulness of the recipients, which in itself is inspiring, but many also share some amazing stories. 

We post many inspirational stories on the website, so think about sharing some of yours by allowing them to be posted on the website.  And check out the website for those stories from other chapters.  Please be sure to check the website for our most recent newsletter.  There are always wonderful stories and other items that are shared by chapters, and are there to inspire and encourage all chapters.

Don’t underestimate the power of the fellowship we share with everyone within our own chapter.  Whether we get together once a month or more often, that fellowship is essential to remaining truly inspired and committed to our mission.  As a chapter, we pray together, and share ideas, patterns, projects we’ve finished.  We help each other in a myriad of ways, and, as members of an organization dedicated to easing the pain of others, we enter into other service projects as the spirit moves us.

Contact with other chapters of Prayers & Squares within our own geographical area can be really beneficial.  We can find out where those other chapters are by looking on the website at the list of chapters.  For newer chapters, other more established local chapters may be able to give guidance and help on this new adventure.  If an already established chapter, think of all that knowledge and experience that can be shared.  But regardless of how long a chapter, the inspiration and energy we can give to each other is immeasurable.

Participation in Prayers & Squares conferences is also a great way to meet other Prayers & Squares members, and to share ideas and stories that inspire and encourage.  With well over 400 chapters now, regional conferences are beginning to spring up in a number of areas across the country.  If there is not already a regional conference scheduled in your area, hopefully there will be soon.

~Q~ If I have questions, whom can I contact?

~A~ There is a list of Board members on the Contact Us page of the website.  By all means, contact any of the board members.  We are here to answer any questions you may have, and to provide you with needed information and help.