St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Women in 2007 joined an interfaith outreach organization called “Prayers & Squares.” The purpose of the group is to combine prayer and a hand tied quilt. The motto is “It’s not about the quilt, it’s about the prayers.”
Prayers & Squares began in 1992 at Hope United Methodist Church in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. St Paul’s was number 588 and there are now 1024 members from around the U.S., Canada and other countries.
The first quilt at Hope was for a 2 year old boy who was in a coma. The doctors said that he was touching and fingering the knots on his quilt before he was fully conscious. He kept the quilt with him until his death at age 14.
St. Paul’s first quilt was pieced and tied with heavy thread. The Priest then blessed it and members of the congregation tied knots and said prayers. The quilt was given to a member of our congregation who had terminal cancer. Upon his death his wife told us that he requested to be buried with his quilt.
A request is made for a quilt in writing with the type of prayer needed, then the quilt is blessed and thread tied with prayers.
Since forming the group at St. Paul’s, they have pieced and given 186 quilts all with knots tied with prayers. Some quilts have been made in red, white and blue and have gone to service members stationed overseas.
“The response we have received from those who have received quilts has been heartwarming and emotional,” a spokesman for the group said. “We have received hugs, cards, etc., but the greatest thing we can receive is knowing that our work and the prayers that go with the quilts mean so much to those that receive them.”