Quilts of Valor

Quilts of Valor

Jefferson City Quilters started several years ago as an outreach to extend First UMC Jefferson City’s military recognition Sunday and show more of God’s love to those who have been touched by war. Recognizing that military service can lead to times of feeling unforgiven by self and by God (“I’ve seen and done some horrible things during wartime, how can God forgive me?”) and the more recently recognized post-deployment syndrome (PDS), this group undertakes to make and present quilts to military veterans and active military—to cover them with healing quilts and remind each of God’s love. Not able to fill the need for quilts in the area, the church reached out in missional hub fashion and now works in monthly meetings with textile artists from Oakland UMC, First UMC Dandridge, First UMC Jefferson City and churches in the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian and other Christian denominations. They work to the standards set by the national organization Quilts of Valor; they work as a multi-generational outreach ranging in age from teens to the 80s; they work in a spirit of cooperation and learning offering support and teaching skills to each other. Last year alone these dedicated women made and presented more than 150 quilts to local veterans; but more importantly, they spread God’s love.

Jefferson City Quilters at work.

As the quilt is assembled, the textile artists pray blessings for the yet-to-be- identified recipient with each stitch taken. The group also offers a prayer prior to presentation of each quilt:

May God’s grace be upon this quilt . . . warming, comforting, enfolding & embracing.
May this quilt be a safe haven; a sacred place of security and well-being . . . sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones.
May the one who receives this quilt be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace and wrapped in love.

May the hands that helped create this quilt continue to do works for the Lord. Blessed be!

Hundreds of quilts have been presented throughout the missional hub’s ministry. And as more quilts are assembled, the ministry will continue to touch the many military women and men who have been touched by war with God’s loving grace by the simple acts of prayer and wrapping a comforting quilt around the recipient’s shoulders.

At left, Rev. Roy Dalton, a veteran of the U. S. Navy (serving 1960-64) is presented a quilt at Oakland UMC. The presenter is Mrs. Susie Rouse, one of the servants working with Jefferson City Quilters.