Embrace Living Residents and Employees ‘Sew Ugly’ for Synod

“Ugly Quilt” Volunteers from the Rockford Communities, part of the Embrace Living Communities.

The United Church of Christ’s Embrace Living Communities in Illinois are finishing up their “ugly quilts” just in time for this summer’s General Synod in Baltimore, Md.

“Ugly Quilts” describe sleeping bags that are being collected during Synod for homeless persons in the geographic area covered by the UCC’s Central Atlantic Conference, host of this year’s General Synod. The sleeping bags –– some made, some purchased –– are part of a larger “CAC Homeless Shelter Project,” and will be distributed across the area following Synod.

Residents and employees from Embrace Living’s Greencastle of Bayonet Point, Greencastle of North Aurora, Greencastle of Palatine, and the Rockford Communities went the handmade route with their “ugly quilts.” They donated the fabric and stuffing for the bags and, as a special Embrace Living touch, a special prayer signed by the volunteers has been tucked inside of each sleeping bag.

In addition to the sleeping bags, the Conference also is collecting hats, gloves, scarves, socks, blankets and pillows during Synod. For those without sewing skills, the Conference will accept monetary donations to the project during Synod. The goal of the Shelter Project is to provide warm winter clothing and bedding to the 26,000 homeless persons living in the Central Atlantic region.

The CAC Shelter Project is just one of several justice-oriented events at this summer’s biennial meeting of the United Church of Christ. Visitors to Synod can also participate in an “InJustice Walk” to help them better understand the reality of being homeless in a large city.

Groups of 12 to 15 people will take a one-hour walk of the city guided by representatives of Baltimore Area Faces of Homelessness Speakers’ Bureau and the United Church of Christ’s Earl’s Place. Part of United Ministries, a CHHSM-member ministry, Earl’s Place provides housing and supportive services to men who are homeless, and will be the starting point of the walk.

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