Church seamstresses feel 'sew' blessed

Posted Online: Nov. 08, 2012, 9:04 pm
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By Claudia Loucks,
GENESEO – Seamstresses at Geneseo's First United Methodist Church and children in Liberia feel ''sew'' blessed.

Church membersJane Kiser andBarbara Schroder, recently led a "Sewing Mission" group, that finished making 150 "pillowcase dresses" and 86 pair of shorts, meeting once a month for three months.

The clothes and some church mission team members who took the garments with them to Liberia for children in need were blessed before the trip.

Some of the dresses and shorts also will be given to children in Guinea, Mrs. Kizer said.

Sizes 4 to 10 were made of different fabrics, but using the same pattern, she said.

Church member Wai-Mae Lim read about making the "pillowcase dresses" for Third World countries and then approached the Rev. Chris Ritter, pastor, about doing a similar project.

Plans were underway already for a mission team in October to travel to Liberia, where the Geneseo church initiated the birth of New Buchanan United Methodist Church in December, 2010. The Geneseo church paid the salaries of two pastors who would start the Liberian congregation.

The Geneseo church also donated programming money, bought land, and paid to build a temporary structure.

Earlier this year, church members presented a $30,000 check to the Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, United Methodist Bishop of Liberia, Africa, to construct a permanent building for the New Buchanan United Methodist Church in his country.

The construction project is part of a three-year involvement the Geneseo church has had with the Liberian church. Rev. Ritter has been involved in the program for 10 years.

The Geneseo congregation has paid to dig a well, provide scholarships and save a widow's home from demolition, he said.

''We hope to continue to establish new congregations in that country," Rev. Ritter said.

Mrs. Kiser said organizing the Sewing Mission ''has been a blessing for us.''

''Not everyone who came sews, but they came to help,'' she said.

Some ironed fabric, some cut out dresses, others put in elastic and others did the sewing.

''I feel we were blessed because God used this mission of making dresses and shorts to bring people together to sew or donate fabrics and to have a good fellowship time doing it. We are all busy people with plenty to do, but we came together to do this."

The "Sewing Mission" has started a similar project of making 'pillowcase dresses' and shorts for children in Haiti, to be sent with a mission group traveling there early next year.

People can leavedonations of fabric, elastic, bias tape, thread and other items needed for the sewing project in abox available in the church narthex, she said.

"Each Sunday there were more donations or finished dresses in the box,'' she said. ''Such a blessing.We will continue to sew as long as there is a need.''

Jane Kiser bio box

Hometown:  Toledo, Iowa.
Family:  Husband, Dale Kiser;  sons, Fred Kiser, Ely, Iowa; Alan Kiser, Mount Vernon, Iowa; Brian Kiser, Youngstown, Ohio; three grandsons and one granddaughter. 
Education:  Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics Education from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Experience: taught home economics in Erie before becoming a stay-at-home mom;  volunteer at church and  4-H groups, including as a leader, Henry County clothing committee member and fair judge; has taught sewing lessons at the former Couturier Shop, Bettendorf;  Neal’s Sewing Center, Davenport, Neal’s Sewing Center, Muscatine, Iowa, and continues to occasionally work; in 2010, began teaching at Quilts-n-Blooms, Geneseo, for students from age 7-90; leads Jane’s Creative Club at Quilts-n-Blooms on a monthly basis; licensed Martha Pullen teacher; and licensed in Serger I and II, Heirloom, Quilting, Beginning Teaching I and II, and has taught at two of Martha Pullen’s licensing schools in Huntsville, Ala.
Favorite Scripture:  Matthew 28:20.
Favorite Biblical character I’d like to meet:  “Ruth.”
Hobbies and activities:  “playing flute in Maple City Band and flower gardening.”
One thing I feel strongly about:  “taking time to teach children about the fun things in life.”
I wish I knew how to:  “play the piano.”


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