Friday, July 12, 2013
Being a Quilt Ministry - My Personal Thoughts
I am often asked the question, "What is a quilt ministry?"
I never gave it much thought when I started my first one. It seemed pretty self-explanatory to me. But as I have encountered quilters and non-quilters alike, I have found that there are different perspectives with each one I talk to.
Ministry to me means "to serve". A quilt ministry, therefore, serves with quilts. Simple, right?
In Christian ministry, I believe ministry is to use your unique, God-given gifts in a way that God is calling you to give. Our life purpose is to love one another and build relationships. How we do that differs depending on our gifts.
My God-given gifts as I understand them are organization, leadership, and encouragement. Along with my gifts, I have a skill and passion for making quilts . If I put that all together, I have the perfect foundation for facilitating a quilt ministry. I believe God has led me to this and God has not let me down yet! He leads me through this journey day by day, giving me energy and vision and purpose. I trust that God is completely in this and will show me the way in His timing.
And I am not in this alone! I could not do this ministry without so many amazing volunteers that have embraced the vision of a quilt ministry and have followed their own calling (and lots of hours of their time) on growing this ministry. The volunteers understand that the ministry is about having an opportunity to use their time and quilting talent, and sometimes their financial resources, to give back to others in this very tangible, unique and personal way. Each has their reasons for participating and each gives as they can. There are no defined quota's to meet...only what you are led to give.
But this is just the beginning. You put this wonderful group of giving women into the same room month after month and you begin to see something amazing happen that wasn't even a part of the original plan. You begin to see relationships happen, people caring for each other, mentoring and educating each other, sharing life with each other. Relationships happen from this shared passion and purpose.
And we can't forget the quilts. They are a big part of what we do because they are the means to connect to those hurting in our community. They are a way for us to communicate God's love and that someone cares about them and what they are going through. While we do not get to see who receives most of our quilts, we trust that God uses them in a healing and comforting way. And we do get proof of this on occasion when we get a thank you note or donation to enable us to continue our ministry because of how they were touched by our outreach.
I know we are misunderstood frequently by "outsiders" that don't really "get" what we do. But that is fine with me because I know WHAT we are doing and I know WHY we are doing it. And most importantly, I know WHO we are ultimately doing it for! The master healer and comforter!
God bless you in your support of this ministry!