The Spring Gala is a wonderful annual community building event at St. Alban’s that raises money for the Outreach budget, especially our ministry to those who are homeless. Everyone is asked to provide an item for the silent auction or the live auction, so I chose to offer a lunch time lesson on how to quilt. Last week, one of the “winners” and I met for few hours for lunch and fabric shopping to talk about the size, type, colors, patterns, tools, techniques and of course, the recipient of her first project. We had great fun together and our friendship deepened. Showing someone how to make a quilt brought us together, and it reminded me of why I quilt.
Like flower gardening and cooking, which I also love to do, quilting encourages me to bring together many colors and textures to “make something beautiful for God”, as Mother Teresa said. In quilting I prefer geometric patterns, so piecing a quilt becomes a way to create unity, wholeness and harmony out disparate pieces of fabric, similar to creating a community of faith from the diversity of our human family. Quilting is a curious craft. We take pieces of fabric with different shapes, designs, colors and shades and assemble them into a pattern that catches your eye, draws your attention and leads you to see something that is not obvious in any one of the fabrics. While I am putting a quilt together I pray and reflect on the many people, issues and needs in my parish and in the world. I often have an insight and realize how to connect particular people who would work well together on a project or how two very different people would make a great pastoral visiting team. Parish ministry, gardening and quilting are gifts that God has given me to make loving connections between myself and God’s creation. Quilting, like Christian community, brings us together to create something beautiful that is more than the sum of the pieces.
From the beginning, God has had a mission to create and connect all things in heaven and earth. We are all agents of God’s mission, God’s quilters, called to make loving connections between God’s people and creation. Everything we do makes a difference. Even a very small action can have huge effects – the proverbial flutter of a butterfly’s wings on one continent being the precipitating force for a hurricane on another. Our role is to discern how we can participate in what God is already doing. “God, open our eyes to see your hand at work in the world about us.” Amen
Thank you for this message and also especially for your sermon at Sunday’s 10:00 service — a beautiful assessment of the meaning of the day’s gospel centered around the image of weeds and flowers in a garden, but with so much extended meaning for all of us to carry away, gardeners or not. Thanks for explaining the central metaphor so well.