In early October members of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota gathered during the service portion of their annual church retreat to sew Sister-Link wall hangings.
Claire DeBerg, editor of Timbrel and Retreat Coordinator at Emmanuel organized a weekend-long retreat for the congregation around the theme: Life, Simplified with three 90-minute sessions from speaker, Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. She wanted to engage a service project and connected with Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) to do just that
Members of both Emmanuel and Woodland Hills Church worked on building what MDS calls the “stick frame” for a house that will eventually be erected in Duluth, Minnesota. In 2012 Duluth-area residents
suffered damage and loss of homes due to massive flooding in the spring of that year. Jeff Koller, regional rep for MDS coordinated the effort in St. Paul for the weekend of the Emmanuel retreat.
While most people chose to swing a hammer, there was a dedicated group of master seamstresses who “built quilts” as a parallel activity. Mennonite Women USA and MDS have a wonderful history of a shared ministry which felt like the perfect opportunity for women at this retreat. When MDS builds
and finishes a house for someone in need, MW USA, provides a quilted wall-hanging through their Sister-Link ministry that is presented to the new homeowner during their house blessing. It serves as a tangible reminder that those people (often having suffered deep loss and displacement) have been in the thoughts and prayers of those sewing quilts for them.