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.

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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.

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Grace Bunker Honored

Ben’s Bells, the Tucson organization that encourages kindness in all aspects of community life, surprised Grace Bunker on August 19, 2015, by sending a representative to the church to give her a citation of honor and one of its famous bells. The informal ceremony took place just before the Pastor’s Study class began and was videotaped by KGUN-TV for its The Morning Blend program. The TV host noted Grace’s role as a founder of Needlework for Nogales Children (N4NC) and her volunteer work at Keeling School and many other organizations. The award also was reported in the Arizona Daily Star.

 

Teaching needlework in Nogales

Teaching needlework in Nogales

Needlework for Nogales Children (N4NC), an international assistance program, was developed in collaboration with HEPAC (Home of Hope & Peace) in Nogales, Sonora, to train women and children in needlework and other crafts to help them sustain their families. A team of volunteers travels regularly to Nogales to work with the women of the community. The N4NC project team also raises substantial funds through the sale of Ladder Yarn Necklaces to support other needs of the community in and around HEPAC.  Current projects include expanding the community garden and helping HEPAC re-open its day care center.

 

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Collecting school supplies

We partner with Helen Keeling Elementary School to provide academic and many other forms of assistance to economically disadvantaged children. Help includes school supplies ranging from pencils to violins, a “Keeling Christmas” that provides gifts for children who otherwise would have none, and tax credit donations that the school can use as needed. Church volunteers put together “back packs” to provide nutritional support for 100 kids each weekend. Meanwhile, a team of tutors works with first-graders in a pilot program to improve their reading skills while other volunteers assist in an academic after-school program.

 

 

 

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Casas Adobes
Congregational Church

520-297-1181

6801 N. Oracle Road, Tucson AZ
  

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