Local church gathers quilts for world’s needy

Local church gathers quilts for world's needy

Quilts are sometimes nearly miraculous things. The warmth they
bring is physically comforting; the colors and designs used are
visually satisfying; and if they are handmade, the sense of
personal contact with the quilter ads an emotional dimension of
connection. Quilts can be a valuable symbol of care and safety.
Quilts are sometimes nearly miraculous things. The warmth they bring is physically comforting; the colors and designs used are visually satisfying; and if they are handmade, the sense of personal contact with the quilter ads an emotional dimension of connection. Quilts can be a valuable symbol of care and safety.

For three years, Morgan Hill’s Advent Lutheran Church (16870 Murphy Ave.) has sponsored a quilt ministry. Sew Seeds started small with a few women in the congregation meeting regularly to sew quilts. They met at the church on a regular schedule: the first, third and fifth Tuesday and third Saturday of each month.

Their goal was to create quilts that could be given to the poor, a tangible symbol of God’s love offered to the needy. As word spread, they received many donations of thread, fabric, blankets and pads for use in their ministry.

It was decided to donate the finished products to Lutheran World Relief. This respected non-profit agency is sponsored by Lutheran Churches around the world to respond to emergencies, seek lasting solutions to poverty and work for peace and justice.

In October 2008, the local congregation contributed 55 quilts to those collected from other Lutheran churches in northern California. When the event was repeated the next year, they were able to contribute 90.

On Oct. 23, the third annual ingathering will be held at Advent. Sew Seeds has completed 104 quilts for this year’s collection, which will be on display at the church on Oct. 17. They will be packed and combined with quilts from other ingatherings held in Antioch and Redding. An expected four tons of quilts will be sent by truck to Portland, Ore.; then by train to Baltimore, Md.; then by freighter to such diverse locations as the Philippines, Haiti and Africa.

During the year, Sew Seeds members have been collecting other items for the poor:

– School kits with items like notebooks and pencils

– Health kits containing things like towels, soap, nail clippers

– Layettes with clothing, bedding and toiletries for babies.

In addition to the shipment to Lutheran World Relief for foreign distribution, the group furnishes quilts and kits for local distribution to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Friends Outside (an organization serving the families of prisoners) and Reach Out (the ecumenical service agency serving Morgan Hill and Coyote).

Both men and women in South County who enjoy sewing are invited to join Sew Seeds. The members enjoy working together on this ministry and issue a welcome to others who share an interest in sewing.

Also, they would be glad to accept donations of sewing materials: fabric, blankets, needles, thread or any other such supplies sitting around the house unused. For more information, please call Jeanett Severson at (408) 778-7254.

Forgiveness Workshop opens to public at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 6.

Advent invites local residents to “Forgive for Good,” a workshop meant to help people choose to forgive others to release the past and heal the present.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project. His research has shown that holding on to resentment and hurt disrupts personal and professional lives, leads to bad decision-making and releases stress chemicals that can have a negative effect on health.

Advance registration is required by calling (408) 779-3551; the $5 fee will go toward reconciliation work at Rwamagana School in the African nation of Rwanda.

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