Monday, October 12, 2009

The Story of the Quilt Top

The Story of the Quilt Top

Messiah's members donated blankets and comforters again this year to help homeless people keep warm in cold weather, and others in the community added their donations.

Among those blankets left at the church was found an original hand-stitched quilt top, it was certainly “vintage” and probably antique. The Outreachers of Messiah Lutheran determined to make a new quilt out of the Butterfly design quilt top. The project was easier said than done.

Barbara Flannery set to work sewing the quilt top onto a new backing. The original green border turned out to be too fragile and fell apart – disintegrated - as fast as Barb could sew it down. She ended up creating an entirely new background for the original antique muslin butterly squares. Then the Outreachers applied the new quilt top to make a finished quilt.

The quilt raffled off on Saturday night has a double heritage: it's first life, represented by the butterfly squares, and the craftsmanship of Barb and the Outreachers who turned a forgotten piece of American primitive art into a lovely comfy quilt for today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Prayer of Jesus from the Maori

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and
come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
Now and forever. Amen

Translation of the Prayer of Jesus from Maori
A New Zealand Prayer Bood - He Karakia Minhinare o Aotearoa

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poverty Attacks Churches in South Africa

From the World Association of Christian Communication Congress in Cape Town:

Poverty Attacks Churches in South Africa
By Redemtor Atieno, Uganda

Speaking to participants of the WACC 2008 Congress who visited the Gugulethu Presbyterian Church 8 October, Mzukisi said that although apartheid was a terrible crime against humanity that left people with deep scars, poverty was an even worse crime.

“Poverty is attacking people’s dignity and is humiliating and dehumanizing the human being,” he said. He observed that it was very difficult to address the problem of poverty behind the pulpit with limited resources.

“How do you preach to someone who went to bed without food?” he asked. He said that although South Africa is rich with notions of human rights, people do not eat human rights. “By teaching human rights we are not solving any problem because the people want jobs and food.”
He said the problem of HIV/AIDS has increasingly become uncontrollable because the patients take the strong medicines on empty stomachs.

The church needs to find a more practical solution because talking and praying alone becomes an academic issue that does not help the people on the ground, Mzukisi added. “Anything that attacks the dignity of our people is a sin. As Africans we believe that men are the heads of the family and if they fail to provide, the situation attacks the pillars of the family” he observed.
Mzukisi said the church in South Africa has continued to preach hope and strengthen the faith of the people but at times they preach hope against hope. He further observed that although the South African government is doing its best to address the issue of poverty, the damage made by the apartheid system is huge and cannot be covered in 10 years.

He said the church was embarrassed by the outbreak of violent xenophobic attacks in the country this year that left many migrants of African descent dead after being attacked by the black South Africans in townships. Mzukisi said the church went round to remind the people that during the apartheid era they migrated to other African countries where they were warmly hosted.

During the visit to the Gugulethu church, participants also heard the moving personal stories of political activist Koleka Rhombela and Nonkosi Madini, who is HIV positive.

See Congress photos at:

See Congress videos at: