Quilting Friendship Evangelism in North Pole

Three years ago, JanaBelle Gordon and several of her friends from the North Pole Adventist Church decided to have some fun and share it with their community friends. Since that time, 7 to 9 p.m. every Thursday from October through April, more than 20 people gather in the church for quilting classes. Calling themselves the Community Quilters, the group has been able to touch the lives of people who have experienced the birth of a baby, been burned out of their homes, or had a death in their family.

The quilters have six or eight quilts ready to be distributed right now. “We don’t like them to stack up because we don’t feel like we are doing our job if they do,” said Carol Gordon. They have given away 20 to 30 quilts so far. One quilt sold for $350 at a benefit auction.

Two quilters have been baptized. Four more are very involved in all church activities. Beverly had never quilted before but wanted to try, so she came with a friend. She decided she enjoyed her knitting more but enjoyed the friendships, so now she comes each week and knits while the others quilt.

Sylvia enjoyed hand quilting and tried another church quilting group, but was unhappy with the pressure she felt from the group. She and her husband Lou were skeptical about trying another quilting group sponsored by a church, but decided to cautiously try Community Quilters. At first Lou brought Sylvia and stayed in the car outside; but when Sylvia came out happy and seemed to be having fun, Lou decided to join them.

When Sylvia was asked whether she felt pressure to join the church, she stated, “No, not pressure, just a loving invitation.” While not yet members, they are studying. While Sylvia is working on her quilts worth hundreds of dollars, Lou, along with several other spouses, is helping with church maintenance or whatever needs to be done. When Sylvia went to Tennessee visiting family, Lou came to the quilting session, doing whatever needed to be done around the church building.

Gordon explained that the church members did not wish for this to be a time for preachy evangelism, but simply a time of friendship and fellowship with the community. “This is just another way to open the church doors to the community and let them know we care about their need for friendship and let Jesus do the rest!”

December 01, 2005 / Alaska Conference