By Rev. Billy Turner
“Sewing with God,” a ministry of First United Methodist Church in Coushatta, began in 2010 as an outgrowth of a bible study on Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley, the author of the Methodist denomination.
Susan Taylor, one of the participants in the study and the leader of the sewing program, said Wesley encouraged Methodists to help the needy and underserved in society. “It really hit home with me that we are more like Christ when we love unconditionally.”
So, sewing and sowing seeds began.
“That first year, we set a goal of producing 100 items for the nursing home residents,” Taylor said. “And we did, with 105 terrycloth bibs, 23 walker caddies and 51 lap quilts that tied on the wheelchairs. That was a lot.”
The program, now a combined ministry of First UMC and Wesley Chapel UMC, has continued to grow.
“The program turned to prayer quilts after that first year. We made 125 terrycloth hats for Red River Elementary and 15 prayer quilts that (second year),” said Taylor.
For three years, the group also made quilts for Relay for Life. “They auctioned off a quilt with the hand prints of all the cancer patients who came,” Taylor said. “Since then, the women have given out 30 prayer quilts.”
Due to a need for additional space, the ministry has now been moved to a renovated building donated by First Baptist Church in Coushatta. Volunteers updated the building added a ramp for easy access for volunteers and visitors.
“Our push now is to get more people involved in the community,” said Taylor. “Our goal is to help others to be able to do this, and to get some youth involved.” This summer the women are teaching crocheting, Swedish Weave, cross stitching and knitting.
For more information about the program, or to receive a prayer quilt, contact First UMC at (318) 932-4069.