December 7, 2022
by Barbara Hudgens
In this Christmas Season, we think a lot about being both givers and receivers of gifts. But what about the rest of the year? There’s one group that gives thousands of gifts all year long: Ardmore Handicrafters Ministry. These dedicated ladies give their creations to a long list of local agencies and sometimes local and international mission groups. They use their creative gifts to gift others.
Twenty years ago, Ardmore member Linda Cline prayed for a way to use the gifts and talents of seamstresses like herself to serve others. During one of Ardmore’s Operation In As Much mission blitz days, she led a team of ladies to cut and sew walker caddies for the Williams Adult Day Care Center. Upon delivering these gifts to the Center, she learned of other needs that her team could help with and the vision of the Handicrafters Ministry was born.
The Ministry has grown tremendously since those early days when they met monthly in the Fellowship Hall, brought all their equipment from home and set up each time, and scrounged for donated supplies. They now are permanently housed in three classrooms in the church with room for fabric storage, 12 sewing machines, four sergers, two cutting tables, and space for weekly meetings. Currently over 25 members spend Tuesday mornings cutting, pinning, sewing, fluffing, stuffing, ironing, painting, tagging, and more! They are financed by a combination of Ardmore’s budget allotment, individual donations, and proceeds from a yearly bazaar or craft fair. They have participated in the Ardmore Art Walk for the past two years.
Many of the members work on projects outside of the Tuesday meetings, both for the monthly quota of projects and in preparation for the yearly bazaar. One such project is Pocket Prayer Squares, colorful fabric squares containing a small cross, which can be found in a basket in the church lobby. These prayer squares are created and given for the benefit and use of all who pick them up as a tangible reminder of Christ’s sacrifice and presence as we pray. Feel free to take one and share with others that may need the reminder and prayer.
Linda Cline passed away in September of 2021 after battling cancer. Her legacy of giving lives on in the work of the Handicrafters, their weekly flurry of creativity, and the many gifts that they give to others.
“Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10
Interested in being a Handicrafter? Contact Glenda Day (704-292-4934) or show up at a Tuesday meeting, 9:00 AM -12:00 Noon – no experience needed! For more information on the types of items they make and the agencies that receive these items, visit https://www.ardmorebaptist.org/handicrafters/.