Prayerful Crafters, a Mission Group of UNTCI
Prayerful Crafters, Charlotte Michigan
Principal – Rev. Margaret Hoggard
Prayerful Crafters was founded on June 27, 2017 as a mission group of the United New Testament Church International Ministry Association (UNTCI). Group members 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 Association’s Meet and Greet in Lansing, Michigan in June 2017. 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. Prayerful Crafters has a broad definition of crafting. Our members have shared their interests yarn crafts, sewing, and quilting, model trains, woodworking, photography, visual arts, media design and production, cooking, gardening, music, paper crafts, beading, embroidery and embellishments, writing and oration, and much more.
As a two-pronged mission of UNTCI, Prayerful Crafters welcomes handcrafters 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/. Non-members of UNTCI and its affiliated organizations are welcome to join the group or to support its mission appeals, as are crafters and supporters 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 as an option for Prayerful Crafters. The mission of Camp Boggy Creek, a year round Paul Newman camp, 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.” Our Prayerful Crafters members have supported “Bears and Blankets” by providing hand-made crocheted or knitted afghans for individual campers, as well as quilts for use on camp beds and quilted wall hangings of any fabric to brighten up camp walls. For crafters who want to join the larger UNTCI outreach project, blessing and prayer card templates are provided.
The second part of UNTCI’s mission through Prayerful Crafters is provided through a group Facebook site for members to exchange crafting information and opportunities, requests for solving crafting problems, inspirational posts, ideas for making and blessing hand-crafted gifts, photographs of their creations, and recognition of their efforts. We also share ideas for appeals and projects that members can support individually or with members of their local groups, such as twiddle muffs for Alzheimer’s patients or red hats for infant cardiac patients, cake auction for youth fund-raising, or special events supporting music, arts, and/or crafts. Future possibilities for our 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. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.