There are a couple of really – well – I’ll just say it – brilliant ladies that go to Cedar Mill Bible Church. They’ve taken some initiative and put together a really great idea! It’s called YarnFest. Here’s the invite that went out in January:
Join us for two evenings of connecting, creating, and exploring ideas around friendship, yarn, and reaching beyond ourselves.
Come meet some new friends.
Come and learn to knit
Come to hear ideas about reaching out to the homeless in our community
Come to explore what God may want to do in and through you
Everyone is welcome… young people, both men and women – who have taken up knitting as a new hobby or might like to, those with young families who would love to be able to finish a project but find no time or not enough skills, older folks who love to knit and would love to teach others…
Long story short – some knitting pals and I got to be a part of this great idea! We decided to start out by making a very simple knit hat. The goal was to finish the project over the course of the two evenings (with some homework in between!) that we had scheduled to meet, and then we committed to donate our completed hats to a ministry that gifts those in need in our community with just this sort of stuff. Cool, huh?!
So that’s where we started. There were about 35 people who joined us the first night we met! Two of them were men – we were so impressed! One of the men (Bob) is a really very accomplished crocheter – so we gave him a crochet hat pattern and he was raring to go! Our youngest knitter was (if memory serves) 8 years old. Our oldest, probably in her 70’s. We started our projects, we heard about Blanket Coverage – a really cool ministry that works with the homeless in Portland. Blanket Coverage is the ministry that will be the recipient of the hats we’ve completed. And then we did a lot of talking – many of those who attended had never met others in the room – even though we live in the community and most of us attend the same church! The connections being made between people nothing short of beautiful.
The second week we met and continued on with our projects. The experienced knitters among us did some troubleshooting – helping those who’d had minor bumps in the road in their projects. It was wonderful that so many high school and college aged young ladies joined us for this meeting! MANY hats were completed! Many more were started as subsequent projects. The passion that people were picking up – realizing that they had acquired a skill and had completed a project – was thrilling to observe!
Probably one of the best things that came out of our second meeting was the fact that – fairly unanimously – we don’t want this to end at two evenings. We want this to morph into an ongoing opportunity. So some brainstorming went on and some really great information was gathered. Offers have been made, thoughts have been shared, current opportunities made known, and a spirit of wanting to be intentional prevailed.
Last evening several of us met again – for the third week in a row – to continue our projects. Some of the ladies were on their third project! Some had joined us for the first time the second week and were making great progress on their first project. Probably the most notable thing that came from last evening – with the possible exception that some truly beautiful hats were completed and contributed! – was the stories that came about about connections that people made with others in the course of their week – all because of knitting.
That is beautiful.
So here we are. On the brink of a truly exciting opportunity to keep the momentum going, to invite others to be a part, to include other skill sets, to focus on other opportunities to serve those in need in so many ways – and a chance to connect with one another as a body of faith, but also with our community.
Don’t you ever feel – well, isolated? I want to know and be known by those in my community. I want connection. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this proved to be a way to do just that? To be connected?