God, the Master Quilter Bellevue Celebrates Women's Ministries

August 01, 2003 | Carrol Grady

Can you take a timeless hobby and find in it relevance for today's women? Bellevue (Wash.) Church members emphatically say, "Yes!" They celebrated women’s ministries on Sabbath, June 7, by focusing on a theme uniquely appropriate to women: quilting.

A valued part of women’s heritage, quilts provide a way of creating beauty and comfort from scraps and worn clothing while working together in sisterhood.

Deana Waters from Greenlake Church presented “The Pieces of My Life,” showing her great-grandmother’s antique quilt and drawing life lessons from quilting.

A unique Scripture reading put together by Marilyn Cramer related the process of quilting to the work of God, the Master Quilter, as He designs the pattern and fits together the pieces of our lives so that we can serve and bring comfort to others. The verses were read by women and girls standing at various points around the sanctuary, among them two mother-daughter pairs and one four-generation family.

In a video interview, 88-year-old Elsie Kvande of the Shoreline (Wash.) Church told of making as many as 250 quilts a year for the past four years for Project Linus. The organization distributes the quilts to shelters for children and families in crisis and to children who are patients at Harborview Burn Center and Children's Hospital.

“How God Has Quilted Me” was the theme of two short sermons by Nona Nordby and Carrol Grady. Shelley Schurch, Bellevue’s women’s ministries leader and pastor's wife, planned and coordinated the church service and interviewed Debbie Norris, who attends church faithfully in her wheelchair and whose cheerfulness despite many heartaches is a blessing to all.

To complement the theme, some twenty beautiful quilts were displayed around the sanctuary and in the narthex. These ranged from treasured heirlooms created in the 19th century to current works in progress.