Michigan Ministry Blankets Cold World with Love
By Carl Stagner
The world can be a cruel and cold place. Especially for children and families living in poverty. Especially for the homeless. Especially for inhabitants of third-world countries. Congregations and ministries of the Church of God are known across the country and around the world for bringing the light and warmth of God’s love to “the least of these.” One such ministry creates and distributes quilts and blankets to those in need both here and abroad. Mary Scott joins approximately fifteen other ladies and three gentlemen who meet on Mondays at Beaverton Church of God in Beaverton, Michigan. More than a social club, this quilting ministry she leads warms both the body and the soul.
It all began in 1997. Mary’s husband passed away, and quilting quickly became a pastime. Her daughter and son-in-law were preparing to go on a mission trip to Mexico and asked if Mom could make some quilts that they could give away. Two ladies in the church heard about what Mary had done, and expressed interest in quilting together. What began as a group of three soon developed into the well-oiled ministry machine it is today—eight hundred quilts are cranked out each year! More remarkable than the assembly line before and after a shared lunch are the stories of impact the quilts and blankets have made on those who have received them.
“My granddaughter was a teacher and in Saginaw first, and she asked me if we could make some smaller blankets for the school,” Mary recalls. “For naptime, she would ask the children to bring a rug or a blanket to school to lie down on. While many did, some would bring in a torn towel or a piece of newspaper. That’s all they had to bring.”
Of course, the popular outreach to students grew beyond her granddaughter’s class. Today, the quilting ministry of Beaverton Church of God, which is also composed of members of other area churches, make quilts for multiple kindergarten classes each year. The need is surprisingly stark.
“At Christmastime, the kids get to take the quilts home with them,” Mary explains. “They are so excited and sometimes can’t believe they can take them home. One little boy said he was especially glad to take his home.” Just why was this child so happy to take the blanket home? Because, until that point, his family only had one blanket for he and his sister to share.
“Hearing things like that make this work very rewarding,” Mary reflects. “When we give the quilts away and see how the people react, it is fantastic. Right now we’re making quilts for a church that will be giving them out to the homeless. We made seventeen last week, and we’ll make seventeen again this next week.”
Mary’s pastor rejoices to see people in his congregation, uniting under the common bond of Christ, to use their talent and time to make a difference. Pastor Chris Slosser is regularly amazed by all the group is able to accomplish and the reach of their ministry. When members of the church return to Guatemala this year on a mission trip, they’ll take another suitcase full of quilts to distribute. When they send a care package to families in bitterly cold parts of China, these quilts will be a part of keeping young children alive. “What they do is amazing,” Chris explains. “The women and men their hearts are so humanitarian. I am just so blessed as a pastor to be a part of a church that is doing what they’re doing. And they have a little sticker that they put on the quilts that says ‘God’s love through warmth.’ It’s a great witness. Over the years they have touched thousands people for Christ.”
Were you blessed by reading this story? Support the ongoing work of Church of God Ministries with your gift to the World Ministry Fund at https://www.jesusisthesubject.org/world-ministry-fund/.