By Ellen Nussbaum
It all began during this past summer with a vision: Ken Neuenschwander, leader of the Outreach and Service Ministry at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church (Kidron), and his daughter, Sara Obri, who attends Lee Heights Mennonite Church (Cleveland) and is on the MCC Great Lakes Board, began talking together about doing a joint comforter knotting bee with the two churches. MCC is in need of comforters, and so the vision grew.
Over the next few months, 65 comforter tops were pieced and donated by Rachel Kauffman of Bellfontaine, Ohio, a friend of Sara’s. Backs and batting were prepared for each comforter by the Quilt Committee at Sonnenberg. Sticks, stands, clamps, pins, knotting thread, etc., were gathered to accommodate putting 32 comforters in frames.
On Thursday afternoon, Oct. 5, women from Lee Heights and Sonnenberg gathered to put comforters in frames. Then on Saturday, Oct. 7, the designated missions weekend at Sonnenberg with resource person Eric Kurtz, MCC Great Lakes Executive Director, the knotting bee was held. Sixty-five persons from ages 3 to 88, from Lee Heights and Sonnenberg, as well as others from the Kidron community, worked together between the hours of 1 to 7 p.m., to knot comforters in the foyer of Sonnenberg Mennonite Church.
The evening extended to about 8 p.m. in order to complete the comforters that were in frames for a total of 43 comforters completed that day! There is still work to be done, because all of the completed comforters still need to have the edges bound, and the extra comforters will be completed at a later date. At the end of the day, there were many tired fingers and backs. Friends from Lee Heights left to travel back to their homes in Cleveland. Sonnenbergers had a shorter trip home, but everyone left having learned to know new friends, knowing that they had built relationships between the two churches, as well as with a good feeling of knowing that they were working together to bless those in need and show their love with a gift of a comforter through the work of MCC.