Prayerful Crafters Launched as UNTCI Mission
Prayerful Crafters has been founded as a mission group of the United New Testament Church International Ministry Association (UNTCI). Group members will provide and receive support to enrich their creative endeavors drawing on the power of the Holy Spirit. The group mission is “to serve Christ by making handicrafts for others while offering blessings and intercessory prayers for the recipients of our gifts, and also sharing prayers, fellowship, encouragement, and tips among our members.” Its scriptural vision comes from Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV).
The idea for Prayerful Crafters grew out of informal discussions during the UNTCI Ministry Assoication’s Meet and Greet in Lansing, Michigan on June 10. Co-founders are Lynette R. Fifer, Vice President and Treasurer of UNTCI, and Rev. Margaret Hoggard, UNTCI member and Director of Fruit of AGAPE Community Transformations. Both ministers share a belief in the power of handicrafts to serve as tangible reminders of God’s love and presence when they are created with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Their separate experiences include serving in prayer shawl and quilting ministries; doing large mailings of crafted prayer pockets to military personnel, first responders, and church congregations; jewelry making to raise funds; sewing for outreach projects; and hosting crafting events and retreats.
As a two-pronged mission of UNTCI, Prayerful Crafters welcomes handicrafters as individuals looking for spiritual support and fellowship as they work on independent projects and/or as participants in creative appeals and events identified by UNTCI. Prospective members can join by requesting membership through the Prayerful Crafters Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1614655378568988/ or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and including a short message about your interests in handicrafts. Non-members of UNTCI and its affiliated organizations are welcome to join the group or to support its mission appeals, as are crafters associated with other churches and organizations.
The “Bears and Blankets” appeal for Camp Boggy Creek in Florida is the first group outreach project UNTCI has recommended for Prayerful Crafters. A member of the Paul Newman Hole in the Wall Gang camping network, it was founded in 1996. The mission of Camp Boggy Creek is, “To foster a spirit of joy by creating a free, safe and medically-sound camp environment that enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses and their families.” The Fifer’s son, Doug Alf, an active supporter of the Spinal Bifida Association, said he recently met some former campers from 20 years ago who still raved about their experience there as one of the best times of their lives.
Through the “Bears and Blankets” project, each camper receives a hand made “Boggy Bear” and each camper and family member receives a crocheted or knitted afghan (35-40 inches wide by 40-50 inches long) to take home. Camp Boggy Creek presently has a shortage of afghans for this summer. The camp also needs donations of machine washable cotton or flannelette quilts (60 inches wide by 80 inches long) that will remain at the camp for use on twin-sized beds. As well, the camp welcomes donations of quilted wall hangings of any fabric to brighten up camp walls (maximum size of 7 feet by 10 feet).
Contact Prayerful Crafters at email@example.com or visit the “Bears and Blankets” page at http://www.boggycreek.org/how_to_help/bears_and_blankets.html for more information.
For crafters who want to join the larger UNTCI mission project, blessings and prayers are available.
The Facebook Group page will be used to facilitate the second part of UNTCI’s mission through Prayerful Crafters. It will provide a forum for members to exchange crafting information and opportunities, requests for solving crafting problems, inspirational posts, ideas for making and blessing hand-crafted gifts, and photographs of their creations. Other possible ideas for the group include a blog or newsletter, a member’s retreat, and a how-to website for crafts. Any suggestions for ways to the Prayerful Crafters mission can support the use of crafting skills as a means to serve God are most welcome.
Submitted by Rev. Margaret Hoggard for Prayerful Crafters