By Rev. Cynthia L. Kristopeit, Scottsdale UMC
The Scottsdale UMC Sidewalk Ministry has a long and successful history. This ministry began approximately ten years ago at the Los Arcos UMC. Throughout those years that ministry became a mainstay in that South Scottsdale neighborhood. Many of the area children grew up with sidewalk.
When the Los Arcos church closed and joined with Scottsdale UMC the Sidewalk Ministry was moved to the Scottsdale UMC church. With the help of a grant, the church has been able to bus the Sidewalk kids to Scottsdale UMC and average 25 to 30 children each week.
It has been great but nothing equaled the wonderful request that was received at the beginning of year from Jan Johnson, the Scottsdale UMC parish nurse. She informed the church that the Scottsdale Quilting Group that meets at Scottsdale UMC “The Betweens” was going to spend the year making quilts for all the Sidewalk children.
They made a total of 60 quilts, and on Sunday, December 16 those quilts were dedicated in church. That afternoon the church also welcomed two busloads of Sidewalk children and parents for the Christmas Party. It is always a gala occasion and “The Betweens’” ladies provided the treats—punch and cookies. Laid out on the table were 60 beautiful quilts. At the appropriate moment the children went to the table to receive a quilt from one of the women. The kids wrapped those quilts around them, and stayed snuggled in those precious gifts throughout the holiday season.
It was a glorious celebration of servant ministry and dedication by this group of women. These women gave beautiful gifts of love to these children. Scottsdale UMC prays that the warmth and beauty of those quilts will continue to transform those children’s lives and remind them of how much they are loved.