January 10, 2019 - Cindy Smist, Lori Jagow
There is a time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
- Ecclesiastes 3:7
As I sat at the kitchen table, my eyes zoned out on the quilted pattern of a Celtic cross hanging on my refrigerator. It seemed like only yesterday my son drew it. Now it is one of only a few tangible items I have left to cherish. Our 24-year-old son, Jeremy, died in a car accident in 2005. Consumed with unanswered questions of untimely death and shattered dreams of what will never be, I had managed to push myself to make a pattern of his cross and quilt it.
After my son’s death, I wondered if I would ever enjoy sewing again. At the time, I had been attending a sewing group at church. A flurry of God-incidences helped get this sewing group off the ground and keep it running, but deep in my grief, it did not seem to matter anymore.
A few years before Jeremy’s death, I remember the thrill that ran through me the day I heard the worship announcement at Pendleton Center United Methodist Church for people interested starting a sewing ministry; I was so excited! I was very interested in quilting. When my children were growing up, I sewed many of their clothes, but as they got older, I drifted away from sewing. A friend had recently urged me to get a new sewing machine, which I did. This group was a way I could get back into sewing and learn to quilt. When Joanne Bensinger asked me if I was interested, I immediately joined the group.
Following the first announcement in church, a stranger who happened to visit that day approached Joanne. Nobody knew who this mysterious man was, but what he told Joanne I will never forget. He said he heard her announcement about the new sewing group. He then explained that he was passing through town as his mother had just died and he was dealing with her estate. His mother, Laura, it turns out, had taught quilting and had a large stash of supplies he would like to donate to the church.
When the man arrived at the church with the stash of sewing supplies, we could not believe our eyes. We watched as vanload after vanload of sewing machines, fabric, needles, thread, irons, ironing boards of all shapes and sizes, cutting mats, patterns, rotary cutters, notebooks, and even more were donated. We were dumbfounded. It was amazing how God brought this man to us on the same day as the announcement of the new sewing group.
Over the hum of bobbing needles, we became like a well-oiled machine; we learned together, grew spiritually together, and we taught each other. God provided the knowledge in the group so that if you lacked a skill, there was someone who could show you. We cared for each other, too.
Our first mission project was for the women in Nicaragua. We diligently sewed many beautiful aprons, and soon they were sent on their long journey. I was inspired! To this day I can hardly contain my joy when I think of the joy God helped us bestow on these women. A pastor asked us to sew kneeling pads for worship, and we went to the cupboard, and there was the exact fabric we needed. Every time we needed something, God provided.
Over the years, we made hundreds of diapers and layette sets for Nicaragua, as well as bags for walkers, adult bibs, and dresser scarves for DeGraff residents. I loved the fact that God made us available and in position to do what was needed.
When my son died, my enthusiasm for sewing came to a screeching halt. I pulled away for a while, and they let me have my space to mourn. I am so thankful for the loving support of the church and beautiful funeral service led by Pastor Tom.
For several months I could not sew. Quilting the cross that my son had drawn gave me the first inspiration to get back into it. Eventually, I slowly came back around to the group, and they embraced me. At first, all I could do was cry on their shoulders. Their loving care was amazing.
Not only did the group teach me to sew, but reinforced my faith in God through the close fellowship with other believers. This sewing group we call Sit, Sip, and Sew was far more than a fellowship group; it was support, missions, and a divine intervention just when I needed it.
Story Interview with Dorothy Glosser
Written by Cindy Smist, Lori Jagow
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
- Lamentations 3:22-23
Sit, Sip, and Sew meets every Tuesday at the church at 10am in Connection Room 3 (Disciple / Sewing Room). Come visit, sew, laugh, and pray! Devotions are held at noon.