I love making stoles! When I was a seminary student and later serving a small church in Eastern Washington state, I made over 700 stoles. Most of them went to the bookstore (sadly, now closed) at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
This batch of four is wonderfully varied. Blue is traditionally for Advent, but modern clergy aren’t so particular about those traditions! The second is more green than it looks in the photo. The third one — with the black background — has wonderful tulips growing on it. And the one on the right is birches in the winter (okay, not very traditional, but still cool).
I’m thinking that I may get into serious stole-making again …
50 years old and still looks great
Okay — this isn’t a quilt! It is a wool felt wall hanging that my mother, Maryn Johnson, made sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s. All those tiny pieces were cut out of felt (she was a whiz with scissors!) and glued on — and have stayed on for all of these years! It is really an amazing piece of work. And when she passed away, we found another whole set of cut outs — anyone want a banner?
I was reminded this morning of the beautiful words of William Sloan Coffin, who was writing about the death of his young adult son. The circumstances were drastically different from the tragedy at Sandy Hook school, but the realty of faithful grieving is the same:
[when his son died …] God’s heart was the first of all our hearts to break.
For me, this poem by Madeleine L’Engle is what ushers in Advent.
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.