Sewing Seeds of friendship

BASTIAM, Va.– The 12 sewing enthusiasts come from Round Mountain Circuit’s three congregations – New Hope, Green Valley, and Pine Grove– each with fewer than 25 in average worship attendance.

For three years now, “Sewing Seeds of Friendship” has provided heaps of hand-stitched goods for charitable organizations including Samaritan’s Purse, Guideposts Sweater Project, Mary’s Cradle, and local nursing homes.

“Sewing Seeds” is a pet project for Myrtle Bice, a New Hope member and retired worker from a local sewing factory. “She had the talent, ambition and supplies to start this ministry,” says Green Valley member Lisa Walker. On her pastor’s suggestion, Bice invited members from each church to join her on Wednesday nights, while she scouted for organizations needing sweaters, quilts, caps, and teddy bears.

The Tazewell District group has received grants from the conference’s Change for Children committee and Redwine committee as well as other Holston groups and individuals. Many of the women have full-time jobs yet they work on projects in their spare time, rendering boxes and boxes of goods that Bice distributes as quickly as she can.

Now, the Rev. Alan Ashworth’s goal is to help the group become more selfsupporting, placing one of their handsome quilts on the auction website, Ebay, to generate funds for supplies. “We also hope to get more people involved in the ministry from outside the circuit,” said Ashworth, Round Mountain pastor for six years.

In the meantime, Bice, who lives alone, delights in picking up a needle and thread as much as she enjoys finding new outlets for the group’s handiwork.

“Whenever I get discouraged, I think of the person who will be wearing the sweater that I’m making, and I pray for them,” she said. “That always makes me feel better.”

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