Me to We: New quilt project to craft tangible symbol of connectionalism

By Jessica Brodie

Imagine a large quilt filled with the prayers and spirit of every major United Methodist ministry effort in every district in South Carolina—a tangible reminder of the way all work together for the good of the Kingdom.

That is the vision of Cynthia Williams, former convener for Connectional Ministries and now a United Methodist disaster response case manager, who with Becky Green, Marion District lay leader, announced at Annual Conference a new “Me to We” connectionalism quilt project. The quilt project involves all 12 districts in the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, who will be making quilts to represent their various ministries. The quilts will be presented at next year’s Annual Conference and wrapped around the district superintendents and the bishop as a way of symbolizing ministries across South Carolina.

“It’s a vision God gave me,” Williams said, noting the quilt symbolizes how each ministry ties into the big picture, from local church to district to annual conference.

Visual, tactile education tool

Williams said the quilt is a visual and tactile education tool.

“Often, I am asked, ‘What is Connectional Ministries?’” Williams said.

Some can easily grasp the interconnectional system, she said, but many others struggle to fully understand how everything works together. She began to pray about how to help people understand, and she received the quilt as the answer.

“The goal of Connectional Ministries is to equip local churches for ministry beyond themselves. With local churches being the focus, we need to teach the connection,” Williams said. “We the United Methodist Church are connected locally, through our district, our conference and the world. Our ministries of welcoming, service and worshipping create an environment for all to come and be introduced to Christ. We care for the least of all of God’s children daily. We create space for new people every day.”

Therefore, she said, the “Me to We” quilt is a way for local churches to identify their ministries and celebrate their connection.

District quilters needed

The plan is that each local church will identify a ministry they are successful with and then turn that into a quilt square. Each local church’s square will then be fused to another and another, ultimately crafted into one big district quilt that is also filled with prayer.

The district quilts will be given to the district superintendents, though a portion of each district quilt will be crafted to make a quilt for Bishop Jonathan Holston and his wife, Felecia.

District quilters are being sought for the project; a team from every district will be formed to guide local churches through the process and also piece the district quilt together.

United Methodist Women across the state will be helping with the project.

Marlene Spencer, president of South Carolina Conference United Methodist Women, said her group is excited to be able to share their talents in the quilt ministry.

“It’s an opportunity to cultivate good working relationships with other United Methodist ministries across the conference,” Spencer said. “Through our purpose, we continue to be a supportive group of women. I think it’s a great way to show and put our faith, hope and love into action.”

For more information, call Williams at 843-372-1009.

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