Prayer For Quilters All Over The World
Written by: Phyllis Byrd serves with the Organization of Africa Instituted Churches (OAIC) in Kenya.
Scripture: 1 Kings 19:19
God, thank you for the quilting mantel that you have given your children. As your quilters, we are part of the Economy of God. Continue to refresh us as we work for the restoration and harmony of the living universe. Amina (Amen)
A few of my siblings and I often joke about which one of us received the various “mantels” passed down to us by family members who are no longer physical with us on earth. For fun, we periodically message one another, including our extended family members, enquiring who has the cake-baking mantel from my father, who kept recipes in his head/heart, and never measured ingredients. He just instinctively knew how much to use in the cakes he baked with perfection. We pondered who received the savvy business mind of my great aunt. Has any family member received the quilting mantel from Grandma Estelle? Grandma passed the mantel to my mother, who seemed to have passed it down to one of my sisters. The mantel of quilting brings together fabric patches that come from different colors, geometric symbols, and patterns of shapes all together into a quilt. I remember the amazing quilts made by my grandmother. The patches used to make up the quilt were durable fabric that remained intact for years.
As I journeyed through the USA, I thought about the quilting mantel while speaking in different churches, events, and camps. I also attended the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly. The assembly’s theme was “Kindom of God within us, among us.” I am still feasting on the theme and the excitement of meeting face-to-face. It was a time of renewal and restoration.
During my travels and speaking in the USA, I “discovered” a secret that I will share with you if you promise not to tell anyone. I “discovered” the location of Wakonda, and the Vibranium is “hidden in plain sight” deposited in the congregation’s members. This might sound like I have completely lost it, so I will explain what I mean. In the movie Wakanda, Wakanda is a hidden country with natural resources that power the city. They have advanced technology and hide the source of their power, the Vibranium, in plain sight. Wakonda Christian Church is located in the Wakonda neighborhood of Des Moines, Iowa.
This congregation’s pastor and members all embody the power of the “Vibranium,” i.e., their hospitality, open arms, and laying out the red carpet of kinship to myself and my daughter. I experienced the manifestation of “kindom.”
I have empirical evidence that Iowa has a Vibranium leakage beyond Wakonda. Proof of this is John and Alice, who hosted me and renamed part of their house as the “Phyllis” wing of the house. I know that I have a home whenever I am in the area.
From Camp Caroline in North Carolina to the Penn West Conference of the UCC, I saw and experienced kinship. I now understand quilting is more significant than I thought. While I was envious of my sister having the quilting mantel bestowed upon her by our ancestors, I now understand all those who are part of the kindom of God receive the mantel. Professor Delores Carpenter and the radical prayer group reminded me of this. I stayed in her home when I itinerated in Maryland. I was introduced to the “radical prayer group” that meets every Tuesday morning online.
This group prays for me, the church, others, and the world at large. Their commitment and sacrifice to morning prayer and action are inspiring. Like the Prophet Elijah, all the people I encountered while itinerating in the USA had the quilting mantel. They were the embodiment of faith and action. The invisible power of God drove them, as they quilted patches of kindom amid a divisive climate. The Marvel movie referred to the heart-shaped herb as Vibranium. It gives extraordinary power to the consumer. It’s one of the rarest and strongest natural resources on earth. At the very heart of the Kindom is the Eye of God/Ojo de Dios/Wang Nyasaye/ Onyame ne Enyiwa/Oju Oluwa which gives us extraordinary strength and power through the Spirit of God to overcome barriers or obstacles. The Wang Nyasye/Ojo de Dios is always in and surrounds us as bearers of the quilting mantel as we work for kinship of the living universe.
The Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) stands in solidarity with the world as we mark World Food Day on October 16, 2023, and the following two weeks. We have embarked upon several events and activities. Please see the poster and keep this day and the situation of food insecurity and water resources in your prayers.
Phyllis Byrd serves with the Organization of Africa Instituted Churches (OAIC) in Kenya. Phyllis’ appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.