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Hello -
Our Chapter 675 - Calvary Presbyterian Church of Enumclaw, WA is making Prayer Bears (sitting height 12"+) in addition to Prayer Quilts. I first saw this idea at Chapter 2 - Community Church of Poway, CA when visiting a dear friend, so I want to give credit where credit is due. Our small group can't keep the Prayer Bears from flying out our church doors as they are an easy way to share Christ's love with others who need comfort for a rough spot in their lives and are readily available as a visible token of other's caring. We make the small quilts at home but come together monthly to pray for the mystery recipients as we tie the knots since we are all busy working women. God has been doing amazing things with these Prayer Bears, and occasional dog or bunny too ! I'm attaching a few photos, too. Thanks!

Blessings to you,
Eva Dietz

 

 

November 2008
Mira Mesa Presbyterian Church, Chapter 8
San Diego, CA

The MMPC Chapter of Prayers & Squares was born in October of 1998. Some thought we should wait to begin in January of 1999, but that plan was quickly changed when we found out the Smith girls needed our prayers and prayer quilts for kidney transplant surgery in mid-November. One sister was the donor, the other the kidney recipient. The pattern for our first two prayer quilts? A traditional block called "Sister's Choice". The sisters' quilts are in the top right photo.

Ten years and 461 prayer quilts later we have tied over 48,000 prayer knots and have sent our quilts all over the world. During our worship service, Mary Jane Hubbard asked us to honor the special quilters and volunteers who are the thread of our ministry by asking them to stand. All those who had received or requested prayer quilts were also invited to stand. Then, everyone who had ever offered a prayer or tied a knot on a prayer quilt was asked to join them. Virtually our entire congregation was on their feet! What a wonderful way to recognize and remember 10 years of service in our Prayer Quilt Ministry!


Dear Fellow Prayer Quilters,
We celebrated our 1 year anniversary on 9/9/07 of our Prayer Quilt Ministry. The response has been tremendous from the community. We, here at Middletown Baptist Church, feel blessed to have helped some many people in their time of crisis. To date we have given 112 prayer quilts! There are 15+ ladies and men who give of their time and talents to produce these beautiful quilts. I would like to share with you the story of how we began this ministry.

My husband & I were introduced to Prayer & Squares through a fellow Prayers and Squares member, Ramonda Wilson of Salem Illinois. We were intrigued and decided this was definitely a project for us to introduce to our church. Several weeks went by without another thought of it. It was put on the back burner.

One Thursday evening my husband shared with me that I needed to have a quilt done for Sunday. Of course my response was as you would imagine “I can’t get one done in 2 days! He agreed to help me and we tried to figured out what to do. I prayed for direction since I was ‘winging it” and the Lord impressed upon me the need to just get it done. I now felt the same urgency my husband felt. We completed it late saturday night. There were plenty of flaws but it was completed and ready to be presented. We had already decided it would be given to our dear friend Anna Hagemier. She had been the church treasurer ‘forever’ and a beautiful caring soul. She had been struggling with painful kidney dialysis three times a week.

At the end of that Sunday morning service on 9/9, my husband explained the prayer quilt ministry and its significance in giving strength to Anna through prayer. The quilt was displayed on the altar. The congregation flooded to the altar to pray and tie a knot. There wasn’t a dry eye in the sanctuary. Many filed past Anna as she sat in the pew and offered their love and admiration for her. She was speechless. He then called Anna up, sat her in a chair at the altar, draped the quilt over her and prayed for God to heal her. The whole service was spirit filled and a true blessing for each of us. Anna expressed how she now looked forward to Tuesday’s dialysis since she had her prayers to cover her. She loved her lopsided imperfect quilt.

Sadly, Tuesday morning 9/11, at approximately 6am on the way to dialysis, Anna took her last breath covered with her prayer quilt. God does answer prayers. Although we had prayed for a physical healing, God provided the ultimate healing for Anna. She was buried with her prayer quilt clutched in her hands and draped over her.

The newspaper coverage of that Sunday morning celebration service honoring Anna ironically appeared in the local paper on the day she passed. We became painfully aware that Anna was the reason for the urgency God had placed on us to get busy with the quilt ministry.

 

A lesson learned was to listen when God speaks. He directs our paths. We have named our quilt ministry Anna’s Blessing Quilts in honor of a saint the we were all blessed to to know and love, Anna Bernice Querling (Hagemier).

Anna's family designated her Memorial Fund to go to the Quilt ministry which got us started with supplies.Since then the community has supplied us with donations of fabrics, thread, batting, yarn, etc. We have also received cash donations from the community to use as needed. We look forward to another year of reaching out to those in need. We have found the old saying to be true "the Blessing is in the Giving".

In God's Love,
Lisa Williams
ABQ Quilters, Middletown, MO; Chapter 677


September, 2008
First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn
Chapter 504

Each summer for the past eight years, youth group members of First Presbyterian Church, Dearborn, MI have traveled to Peru to work at the Scripture Union Mission.  This Mission serves as a haven for many of the street boys living in cities who are abandoned and would exist only as vagrants.  They experience the love of God through the care and teaching of volunteers and staff at the mission.  When our volunteers returned this year, our church’s Prayers & Squares chapter (#504) sent a quilt that was tied with prayers by the congregation.  It is now hung in their gathering room.  The boys wrote that “they could not believe that people who did not even know them would make a quilt for them.”  We would like to share a picture of the boys with the quilt.  


December, 2007
Christ United Church Chapter #583
The Bee’s Knee’s

You might say that the start of our Prayer Quilt Ministry came with an idea a few years back and came to fruition on the urging of my sister-in-law last fall. Christ United Church is located in the village of Lyn 12 km north west of the city of Brockville, Ontario (population 22,000) along the St. Lawrence Seaway. The immediate area is primarily agricultural. We are situated within an easy drive of Kingston and Ottawa.

A couple of years ago I suggested in a survey held by our UCW (United Church Women) that we have some kind of regular craft/sewing get together so that we can get to know each other, share experiences and help others. Normally we are working a church function as UCW and don’t get the opportunity to really enjoy each other’s company. Our beloved minister of 12 years Rev. Jean Baker had passed away after 5 years of illness and only several months of leave from her job. For our church it seemed that all plans were put on hold and the focus became one of survival, finding a supply minister and then a permanent one. On January 1/06 Rev. Bob Fillier took charge of the pulpit. Over the past 2 years he has skilfully guided us through the healing and mourning process that I don’t think any of us knew we were in. Our church has a new life and direction. Rev. Jean always said that the right person would come along and we know without a doubt he was brought to us by powers unseen.

When my sister-in-law Jane told me of Fabric of Faith book I was instantly intrigued and send away for a copy. I knew immediately it was what we were looking for! Rev. Bob and our church Council encouraged the endeavour and plans were to begin shortly into the new year of 2007. Once I sent the registration away I began to doubt myself. What have I gotten myself into? How will we get the funds to start? How will we get material to start if we don’t have money? A missed budget insertion left us without funds until the UCW came through with $200 seed money to start. Yahoo! Another worry once the meeting date was set was would people be interested?

I need not have worried. February 5th dawned bright and beautiful and 12 ladies showed up to help. Several bins of fabric and batting appeared (and is still appearing) and floss was donated. And so the project began. We meet every two weeks in the afternoon.We meet causally in our Fellowship Hall from 1-4 pm. Someone always brings goodies and the kettle is boiled. We usually sew for an hour or so and then take a break. During that time one of the group reads a story from The Quilt of Life “a patchwork of devotional thoughts”. And then we continue on with our work. People come and go all afternoon. Stories are shared, prayers are said, friends are being made and the world’s problems are solved during this time. One of the girls got a new sewing machine as a gift and didn’t know how to thread it and hadn’t sewn since high school home economics. She was quickly and happily sewing squares for a quilt top and happy to be doing something for a worthwhile cause. Our minister often pops in for a look see or a treat. He has even tried quilting! We made two quilts that are very similar and he said they would be great for a special couple. We have a couple well into their 90’s who are now in a seniors home and often not able to come to our services any longer. Our first two quilts will have a shared home.

As I have seen the group work together it seems that prayers worked to get us to where we are today. Here we were a church in need of healing not a year ago and here we were now working on quilts to help heal the spirits of others. Funny how that works isn’t it?

We have made hundreds of small purse size prayer squares and our Cool Christian Kids are tying them during their Sunday School time. I had sample prayers laminated for them to use during tying. We will give these to Rev. Bob to distribute and have them available for members of the congregation to take to those who need our prayers.




One of our group suggested that we name ourselves and that we let the CCK decide for us. The Village Quilters, Quilts 4 U, and The Bee’s Knees (as in Quilt Bees & Praying on your Knees) were the ideas tossed around. Guess what the kids chose? Unanimously they chose “The Bee’s Knee’s”.

We have distributed 14 prayer quilts, 2 baptismal quilts and 6 confirmation squares since we started. We now have a fabric cabinet filled to the brim. 2 Irons, and ironing board and 3 sewing machines have been donated to the cause.

I went with my sister-in-law to the Mini conference in Owen Sound in the spring and was truly inspired by the other chapters. We took a road tour in the early fall to meet the Prayer Quilt group in Long Sault. What a great afternoon! The girls there were so enthusiastic and were willing to share all their ideas and secrets with us! We hope to have them and the Kingston group meet at our church in the spring.

And so our church has began the Fabric of Faith journey healing itself and keeping others spiritually warm not only in the giving of these quilts but in the stitching, and making of the quilts themselves.

Liz Healy, Representative for Chapter #583

 

What I have learned with this Fabric of Faith Project…

- Children have a sense of humour!
- Points don’t have to match for a quilt to contain love
- Prayer is powerful
- Worry is a wasted emotion
- People are generous
- Women can accomplish miracles
- Fellowship is therapeutic
- Laughter heals
- Our church and community is filled with extraordinary talent
- Some people really CAN’T sew! but have HUGE HEARTS!
- Our church is very fortunate


September, 2007

Our Prayers & Squares Chapter has just completed our 300th quilt. We are being honored by our church, Christ United Methodist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, on Monday with a luncheon. Our members of around 12 regulars sew in the fellowship hall of our Church three Mondays a month. We pray as we sew and also after the quilt is tied and ready to go take its place inside the beautiful cabinet in our prayer room waiting for just the right person in need of prayer to choose it.

We want to thank the you, the Prayer Ministry, for starting this ministry and for guidance along the way. We use patterns from the web site and also have plans to use prayers from the book, which by the way, is awesome. We make only lap size quilts which are then tied (all 300 by the same member) and then they are hung in our prayer room. We moved to a new facility two years ago, four quilt hangers were installed in our prayer room when it was built. The quilts hang on the walls in the prayer room making it easy for all people, church members and visitors alike, to reach as they say their prayer and tie the knot. We have kept a journal with a picture of every quilt over these last three years of our ministry with a card showing who received the quilt and their prayer request. We have also kept the responses that have been sent to us in writing. As you might expect, the responses truly show God's use of the power of prayer. The ministry has become so far reaching that each of us find as we go into different groups everyone wants to share a story about a prayer quilt with us. What a blessing.

This is a picture of our group with its 300th quilt. We have been told by our church staff, of over 4000 members and 13 prayer ministries, that the prayer quilt ministry is shown as being the prayer ministry where you can see a huge impact on our congregation.

Thanks again for your inspiration.
God bless each of you and all of the members of Prayers & Squares Ministry.
Rosemary Taylor, Co-coordinator with Karen Hill
Prayer & Squares Ministry, Chapter No. 238
Christ United Methodist Church
6000 Old Canton Road, Jackson, MS 39211


Chapter 618, Kernan Blvd. Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL took photos of their first meeting, which you can see on their website. They report: "How wonderful it all is. Thank God! It's taking off!"

Go to Chapter 618's website photo page


Karen Goula from Chapter 536, Liberty United Methodist Church in Bealeton, VA. July, 2007

First of all I can't tell you how much this wonderful mission has brought to our church. I have a group of 4-6 ladies that never quilted in their lives. They are so driven by this that they have shown up each and every Monday night to learn how to make quilts and spread this mission of love and prayer.

We recently had a booth at a gathering at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Springfield, VA. A group of 4 ladies stopped by and I was telling them about our quilts and the mission. One of the ladies stated to cry; she said that her sister has very little time left and has 2 types of cancer. She was so upset and I asked her if she would like a prayer quilt to take with her. My pastor was nearby, so asked if he would say a prayer and he tied one of the threads for them. It was truly meant to happen this way! They all thanked us over and over again. I ran into the group later in the day and Kathy (the sister) was hugging the quilt for all it was worth.
That is where I was supposed to be this past Saturday, not in my flower beds as I would have normally have been.


Here is our wonderful Dean Marilyn learning about rotary cutters at one of our first meetings!

March 29 and we are in the middle of a winter storm...a perfect time to catch you up on the goings on of Chapter 578 that quilts at 7200 feet! Since our inception in January of this year, we have had requests for 15 quilts! Twelve of these have been delivered and we have received some truly heartfelt thank you notes. We are in the process of beginning Military Squares for the 200 soldiers from Wyoming that have been shipped to the Middle East and will be participating in the nation-wide endeavor to provide quilt blocks to a group in Indianapolis who is making quilts for the soldiers injured in Iraq and are back in the United States at the VA Hospital there. Just when it seems like we are getting "caught up" we find ourselves trying to "catch up". Our chapter meets once a week and sometimes the women from the Prayer Shawl ministry come and knit/crochet while we are quilting! The fellowship is simply fantastic and has certainly been one of the biggest blessings in my life.
Shi Shine,
St. Matthew's Cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming


December, 2006.
We were so fortunate to be able to provide a few prayer quilts and prayer bears for Chapter 279 in New Orleans. They were dedicated during the worship service and tied in the narthex right after the benediction. This ministry certainly puts our own lives into perspective!

Blessings to all of you,
Carol Neville and “The Quilters” of
Chapter 2, Community Church of Poway,
United Church of Christ
Poway, California

Rev. Glen Larsen, Jr. with quilts to be sent to New Orleans

(Read the stories from Chapter 279 about giving out prayer quilts in New Orleans.)


Sami with her prayer quilt, 11/22/06; ready for surgery

This is my grandaughter, Samantha. She went to surgery Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. She is home now and doing very well. Before surgery, her hearing had been reduced to about 5%. The prognosis is good, so we're hoping her hearing will be restored (with the removal of the tube that had become absessed). Such a sweet child! I thought you would enjoy seeing her with her prayer quilt that was blessed and given to her the previous Sunday. The surgeon allowed her to be covered with her quilt in the operating room.
Love & Prayers, Bobbi
Chapter 498 in Winslow, AZ


We became chapter 485 in August, 2006. We presented three quilts for blessing and then tying on September 4, 2006. It was quite an emotional time as we prayed for two church members struggling with cancer, and one beautiful baby that was baptized. This ministry has enhanced the prayer life of our church in such a positive way. Visible, touchable prayer! We are very excited to see how God will touch our lives through this ministry.

First United Methodist Church

Pasadena, Texas

 

Carolyn Ketterer proudly represented Prayers & Squares at a Health Ministries conference, October 14, 2006 at St. John's Church in Chula Vista, California.

(Conference sponsored by the Greater San Diego Health Ministry Association)


Kathy Cueva, our president, reports about the Tennessee Regional Conference in August, 2006:
60 gals, 15 chapters; the "oldest" chapter was #125 from Hazard, KY, and the newest was #473 from Clarksville, TN. We also had 3 small groups that were "thinking" about starting a chapter. They were craving info, ideas, inspiration and support. Most of them came from churches with congregations of 30-200. 2 chapters from Michigan! One from Salem, IL, one from Ohio, mostly TN and KY gals. This conference was so well run, thanks in large part to Carla Mead.
(Carla and Kimberly Winston, author of "Fabric of Faith" are in the top left photo below. The next photo is Kathy with Kimberly.)


The San Diego Conference was full of special moments, including the worship service, Kimberly Winston's talk, and Sharyn Craig's presentation. Here are just a few photos.


Chapter 89 (Chino, CA) "Pretty in Pink"


Then they shopped 'til they dropped!


Ch. 187, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, San Diego



CHAPTER 398 - Parish of Pauatahanui, New Zealand
We all find Prayers & Squares a wonderful, prayerful ministry and are continually overwhelmed by the responses we receive from our Prayer Quilt recipients. Their quilts become an integral part of their lives providing them with a very tangible expression of God's comfort during their time of need.

Our group were very satisfied with the green bordered prayer quilt which comprises handsewn hexagons. The prayer quilt using pinks and New Zealand themes was sent to Jane, a New Zealander living in Cambodia. Meg's prayer quilt contains the last three lines of a poem she wrote some years ago plus fabric of New Zealand themes - something very dear to her.

God's love and our best wishes to Prayers & Squares members worldwide.
Glenis, Lynne and the team, Chapter 398, New Zealand

Prayer Bears are another way to send love and prayers to someone in need. The bear holds a mini quilt, tied with prayer knots, of course. Several chapters use these bears when a larger prayer quilt isn't the best choice. Sometimes the prayer request is of a personal nature and the recipient would prefer prayers from just a few friends instead of sharing the request with the entire congregation. Prayer bears might be a good choice in a bereavement situation, especially for children. Sometimes a quilt goes to someone facing a medical problem and a bear goes to his or her spouse, who is also in need of prayers of support. (The mini quilt can be made with left-over pieces from the larger quilt.) We have found that teenagers seem to be more comfortable requesting a prayer bear for a friend in need than asking for a prayer quilt.
(Photo from Carol Neville, Chapter 2, Community Church of Poway in Poway, CA.)