A middle-school girl works on a blanket for Hoyt UMC’s Piecing Love and Warmth ministry.
(photo by Debbie Taylor)
By Debbie Taylor, special contributor
Being a committee in a small-membership church can be challenging, perplexing and routine. Often the programs and projects the committee works on are on a rotating basis circling year after year. Some of the events may define the mission of the whole church so you want to keep them intact. But others are fluff. These are the energy drainers that can be reformed into amazing opportunities.
Trying to break the chain of familiar, build a new platform and open the eyes of vision isn’t an easy task but a healthy one. Hoyt United Methodist Church’s Outreach Committee started a new program that other small-membership churches could use to stretch their imitations for a new vision.
Piecing Love and Warmth was implemented in March 2010. This program teaches anyone who is willing to come how to make blankets for homeless children.
It started out with the committee issuing a plea for donations of material, batting, yarn and other materials. Next, two mornings a month at the church’s fellowship hall were designated for the project. As the first morning approached, announcements were put out for volunteers to come. The goal was to make 50 blankets.
A month later, the committee members were connected to a firefighter in the Kansas City, Kan., area who worked directly with homeless children. So, the project was set to go.
Over the next several months, volunteers came and went. During the summer months, three middle-school girls participated, learning to use sewing machines and to tie the blankets.
By December, three of the women and one middle-school girl delivered 25 blankets to the Kansas City Kansas School District’s resource director for displaced. There were seven children present to choose their blanket. The next 25 blankets were delivered in February.
The committee members are determined to keep this project going in our church and invite others to join us at sewing tables, blanket distributions or through prayers and support.
The vision to help homeless children helps us reach far beyond the church doors. It may take courage to take that first step, but Jesus does pave the way.
Debbie Taylor is a member of Hoyt UMC.