We believe that we are called to serve others. In serving, in giving we believe that we find greater joy than in receiving. Our happiness does not come from accumulation, but from serving and giving to others. Service and giving take many forms, from handing out bulletins in church service to worshipers to serving in the community and the world. Here are a few examples of our putting our Faith in Action.
100 Dresses article, originally published in the Tucson Explorer
Threading a giving spirit throughout the community with 100 dresses
Logan Burtch-Buus, Tucson Local Media
Working with scissors, pins and needles, Chris Sternberg and nearly 30 other members of the Casas Adobes Congregational Church stitched, trimmed and hemmed their way through yards of fabric. Each of the women—and one man—worked diligently, only the occasional conversation or snippet of laughter broke the steady hum of sewing machines.
Observing the work underway at one tables only paints part of the picture, which becomes clear when the final thread is sewn, and one of the dresses is assembled at 9:34 a.m., drawing a round of cheers and applause from the group.
One down, and only 99 more to go.
Embarking on their textile adventure last Thursday, Feb. 16, members of the church’s sewing group, The Stitch Witches, were joined by other church members, and a handful of volunteers, to craft 100 dresses for disadvantaged girls around the world—and do it all in one day.
“It was a good thing to do,” Sternberg said. “We had an overabundance of fabric, so why not? “It’s a good thing to do, and we have the resources to do it.”
Sternberg’s can-do attitude was shared by the entire group, who took to the task with great enthusiasm. Each of the cotton sun dresses were crafted piece-by-piece at each of the stations set up in the 6801 N. Oracle Road church’s group space, and ultimately assembled by one of the Stitch Witches.
The idea for the project came from a friend-of-a-friend through the inclusive congregation and clicked with the witches, who often craft quilts for donation to the Casa de la Luz hospice. A peculiar name for a church-based sewing group, Sternberg said they were named by a former church member, more than a decade ago.
“There are a lot of other types of groups that get together named things that rhyme with stitch, and I think this is a bit more benign,” Sternberg said, drawing laughter from fellow witches working nearby.
“A lot of churches wouldn’t even let you use the word ‘witch,’ but we’re a progressive church and we believe in everything,” said the church’s vice president, Rita B.
Drawing another round of laughter from the sewing group, Rita labeled herself a “cold, corporate business type” who finds inspiration and motivation in the group.
“The stitch witches know what they’re doing, and they’re very creative. So, I come once a week to be inspired by their creativity. I can’t sew a button, or a seam – but they’re creative and it’s just energizing.”
Rita said the creativity and energy of the group has found yet another positive project, and that giving dresses to young girls whose families may not be able to clothe them is a worthy cause for the witches.
“This is the whole point of Christianity, and any faith tradition,” she said. “Each person gives a bit of their own gift, and it creates something bigger than themselves.”
See more examples of our Faith in Action below.