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Prayer Quilting


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Click here for a List of Prayer Quilts presented


The Prayer Quilting Ministry, Prayers & Squares, began in 1992 at Hope United Methodist Church in San Diego, California. Since then the ministry has expanded to include chapters in churches of many different denominations across the world.

Prayers & Squares is primarily a prayer ministry. A new chapter must agree to the Prayers & Squares Three Commandments, which are:

1. Remember the Prayers & Squares Motto: “It’s not about the quilt, it’s all about the prayers.”

2. Before tying a prayer quilt, the recipient must have agreed to accept the gift of prayer in the form of a quilt. We must also ask how we might best direct our prayers for that person.

3. No payment can ever be accepted for a prayer quilt. It cannot be sold; it is a gift.


This ministry was started at St. Mary’s, in 2006, by Irene Gares, after she and husband Gerry vacationed in Arizona in November 2005. After attending a service at another church with friends they were visiting there, and as she was walking down the street, Irene saw an Episcopal church; and, she says she told her husband, “I’m being called to this church”. Irene was introduced to the priest’s wife who gave her a tour of the church and its grounds; and in the church courtyard she saw quilts displayed and inquired about them. She was then introduced to the woman who leads the Prayer Quilt Ministry at the church; the woman explained the ministry to her and gave her a quilt (one with butterflies that reminded her of her sister Carolann who had recently been diagnosed with cancer).


The idea behind the quilts is simple, yet powerful. Quilts are made by using squares of material, batting, and a backing material; the quilt is put together by a group of volunteers each completing a different step of the process. A heavy thread is used to take stitches through the quilt layers. And the ends are left free to be tied with a square knot.


The Rector (Fr. Haynes) blesses the quilt during the Saturday evening Mass, and the quilt is placed at the back of the church. This is where we as parishioners come in. At all three services, we tie a knot and say a silent prayer for someone in special need—someone who has requested a prayer quilt and asked us to pray for him/her. After the Sunday, 9:00 a.m. service, the quilt is taken to the Guild House during Coffee Hour for one last round of knot tying and silent prayer by those who did not have the opportunity to do so in Church. The quilt is then given to the quilt recipient who is aware of the many prayers that have been and are being said for him/her.


In some cases we have quilt recipients living out of state; and, in that case, the prayer quilt is given to the friend or family member who requested the quilt for their friend or family member. A binder, cataloguing all information about a quilt and its recipient is maintained.


This wonderful group of women (no men have stepped up so far) brings an assortment of sewing skills to the table. Some can thread a needle and sew the yarn onto the quilt while others are accomplished seamstresses who are always willing to share their expertise. No matter what the skill level, each person takes part in the process of putting the prayer quilt together.


The group meets the second Thursday of the month, from 1-3 p.m., and, the following Tuesday, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., at the Guild House, in the Vestry Room. If you feel the Spirit moving you toward this ministry contact Irene Gares.