Sunday, February 18, 2007

Inner~Views: 700 Prayer Quilts Spread Love and Prayer

Prayer Leader interviewed Peggy Pearson, a member at Inland Hills Church in Chino Hills, California and leads the Prayers & Squares Ministry as a volunteer.

Prayer Leader ~ Peggy, what is a prayer quilt and how are you using them to mobilize prayer for persons in your church?

I’ve attached the blurb that goes on the back of each quilt request===>Click headline to access that information . . .

Prayer Leader ~ How did this ministry begin? What was the inspiration the Holy Spirit used to launch
the idea?

A few ladies started an informal quilting group in 1992 at Hope United Methodist Church in Ranch Bernardo, California, with no other purpose than to have fun making quilts together. Then, a group member's 2-year-old grandson ended up in a coma following heart surgery. His doctors were very pessimistic about Kody's chances for recovery. The ladies decided to make a quilt in vivid primary colors. There was no time to quilt it, so it was tied with perle cotton thread as silent prayers were said for Kody. "There must be a prayer tied in with each knot" someone remarked. The group's first prayer quilt was rushed to the hospital that night.===>Click here for the complete story . . .

Prayer Leader ~ How many people are involved making the quilts?

We have over 40 ladies on our roster, but only about 18 actually create the quilts. We have a few that just insert the ties & others that just man the quilt tables at weekend services. What time investment is required? Turn around from request time to when the quilt gets out to the tables is about 2 weeks. Then it takes another 2-3 weeks to get them all tied.

Prayer Leader ~ How many quilts have been made?

We’ve made almost 700 just in our chapter. Are prayer quilts made only for people who are physically sick or suffering? No, we have never turned down a request. We’ve made them for people who have lost loved ones, people with psychological problems, etc.

Prayer Leader ~ Can you share a story or two of how God's blessings have been bestowed through the prayer quilt ministry?

My favorite follows from Mary Whitten. The Debbie Torian that she mentioned, was touched by the quilt that Mary made for Debbie’s late husband, John. Little did Debbie know, that hand sewing the binding on that quilt for John at Mary’s dying father’s bedside comforted Mary more than Debbie can ever know!

Here is her story:

My first Prayers & Squares meeting was 3 years ago. I showed up to help cut fabric so the quilters could do their magic. The first 2 people I met were Tina Abbott and Addie Dyer. They spent time with me explaining the ins and outs of quilting, Tina even throwing a pre-cut 9 patch kit my way. Next thing I know, I am hooked on this ministry of prayer quilts!
Unbeknownst to them, that hot summer day, my heart was breaking as my Dad had stage 4 colon cancer. My Daddy, my hero, was an amazing man with an interesting life. He was a captain in the Air Force even flying 106 missions over North Korea during the Korean War. So, there we were, my family and I with many hours of the cancer rollercoaster, chemo and other treatments.
Quilting and the P&S group became a wonderful outlet for helping others. Praying and sewing for others was comforting to me. That pre-cut 9 patch kit that Tina gave me? It was my first quilt and went to my Dad, Addie even teaching me how to do prairie points to finish it off. Dad’s hospice nurse was a quilter who was so touched that she started a P&S group at her church in Northern California!
As dad’s time here became short, I would sit at his bedside and handsew the bindings onto quilts. One of my favorite quilts was one I did for John Torian. It had an airplane theme and Dad loved planes! Little did I know that John’s wife, Debbie, would become a much loved member of our P&S chapter and dear friend to me!
This prayer ministry has been the wind beneath my wings. Our fearless leader, Peggy Pearson, has been instrumental in promoting our ministry at church. Her tireless efforts and great sense of humor have resulted in over 400 quilts in less than 4 years. Besides our regular church members, you can find our quilts outside of California, in the Dominican Republic and at a home for abused and neglected children.
If I had more room here, I would tell you about each member of our chapter! All of them with different talents brought to the group which rounds us out. I love these ladies and am blessed to be a part of the team.
Quilting and praying for others..... awesome.

Prayer Leader ~ How has prayer become more important or integrated throughout the congregation since the prayer quilt ministry began?

We now have a prayer room & many past prayer quilt recipients now regularly come by our quilt tables to pray over the quilts.

Prayer Leader ~ How could a prayer leader begin a similar ministry in their congregation?

That is also explained in detail on the website. What are the challenges they will face? Our biggest challenge was getting the word out about what the quilts represented. We still have people who think we’re selling quilts to raise money for the church. Now that so many people know someone who has received a prayer quilt, it’s getting much easier to explain.

Prayer Leader ~ Peggy, please write a prayer local church prayer leaders can pray with you about making their ministry more caring . . .

Heavenly Father, help us to be a shining witness of Your love to the people to which we minister. Help us to treat all of Your children as we would our own. Thank You for equipping us with our special gifts and talents to make our service to others so fulfilling and successful. In Your name, Amen.

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