The Hearts and Hands Ministry is a dedicated group of individuals who typically meet every other Monday here at Union Chapel with the expressed purpose of providing physical and spiritual comfort to individuals through the gift of a handmade fleece tie quilt.
Making the quilts is simple. The occasion for these quilts is as varied as the people who make them. They are lovingly made by children, adults, seniors, women, and men. The people receiving them are congregants, community members, and those in residence at the St. Vincent Hospice.
The impact these quilts are having on recipients and those that love them is significant.
Last Fall, we made a bright pink and green watermelon blanket for a woman without a church home who was facing a terminal cancer diagnosis. She and her husband have custody of their grandchildren and all the challenges that come from raising young ones in retirement already weighed heavily. However, the comfort and warmth given through the gift of this quilt provided much needed tangible evidence of God’s presence in this season of trial and she currently is enjoying a time of remission, thankful daily for the reminder that the blanket provides of our Father’s love.
On a bleak day in January, a thicker, heavier quilt was taken to a man battling a grave diagnosis who had lost 50 pounds. While surrounded by family and friends, they were paralyzed by the unexpected situation and the offering of this gift of love has afforded them much peace in the difficulties faced this year. He remains wrapped in its peaceful warmth and calmed by its weight as he continues to battle his illness.
One of the children of our congregation recently had a friend admitted to a treatment program for childhood OCD in Nashville, TN. She must live far from home for an unknown time period. We made her a tie quilt with sloths on it as those are her favorite. She received it on her birthday a few weeks ago and it has remained her constant companion as she struggles to recover.
These simple gestures are being used mightily by our Lord who takes our offerings and does His work through them. Not only are those receiving the blankets changed by the Holy Spirit -- but also those making each cut and tie. There is rich and meaningful community happening at these gatherings -- perhaps like those gatherings of yesteryear -- barn-raisings or quilting bees. Times have changed since then, but the value of this community has not.
As mentioned above, Hearts & Hands meets every-other-Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. in Union Chapel's Fellowship Hall. Everyone is welcome to join us -- no need for previous experience! We usually make 2 - 10 quilts, depending on the number of blankets needed and the number of "quilters" in attendance. Occasionally we also discuss other issues of congregational care or outreach projects -- but mostly we just enjoy getting to know each other over a worthwhile project.
Contact with any questions or donations of fabric.