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The Church – An unusual placement

I was sitting in church doing my knitting this morning (I can knit and worship, can’t I?) and pondering my intern year, which has been the focus of my attention for some time now.

What if the church hired a textile intern?

My Uni friend Sarah, once pondered a similar idea, what if architects had a textile intern and I think the savvy ones do. I mean, when they’re planning the interior of a building don’t they consult a textile designer? How else would they figure out how to put lighting in carpets unless they asked the textile designer who knows the answer?

But church, is this too far out of the box?

What if my church, The Salvation Army, hired me as an intern for a year?

Well, the cynics among us would suggest the uniforms would be better made. The material might change to a washable, yet not shabby style and the blouses would no longer be see through (I’m assuming the uniform was a mans design because a woman would notice the see through blouse with no Breast darts.

There might also be a change in how the uniform is made (yep, my bug bear) perhaps it’d end up cheaper or at least we might be reassured that it was ethically made, which I’m not sure it is.

On a local church sense, since we’re all taught CAD (computer aided design) the power points on Sunday’s would be amazing.

We would have bible based ‘quiet books’ available for all kids. Seriously, if your church hasn’t looked at quiet books as an alternative to the box of toys with dead batteries then shame on you.

The yearly sale of work (craft fair) would be rather stunning and involve the non-churched community.

Church publications could include knitting patterns and crafts that inspire rather than a token colour in page.

Imagine the publication of “Knits for Salvationists” which is quite funny because I’ve been working on a pair of mittens with the Army Shield on.

Craft groups at the church would be well attended by the community, and not just the card makers! (How many angry replies will I get about that comment?)

Imagine a church where we didn’t just appreciate musical gifts and the odd drama group, but events where people could explore their gifts as an artist or crafter. People being given pictures from God would be encouraged to draw what was shown them.

 Prayer shawl ministries would grow and improve the praying fellowship of the church.

Mental health communities have long since known the improvement to health that comes from art and crafts. If your church has several people with depression and you don’t offer crafts then are you doing a disservice to them and their health?

No matter what your membership status in the church, you’d be able to take part in a church activity (unlike joining the band or choir)

Imagine sending me off to a women’s community abroad where I taught women to spin wool and other fibres and make their own items on cardboard looms and old CD drop spindles. Turning communities into businesses with very little start up money.

Pop up craft events helping church people get into the community where it’s easier to start a conversation on knitting than on church, but the church conversations would come more naturally.

Imagine sending your little ones off to Summer camp and music school where options included art and crafts.

But then, writing this, I realise, I’m already in the church, I just don’t get the oppourtunities.

I wasn’t at my own church this morning, I’m working in London this weekend, but I sat in church knitting as usual. I wonder what people think of me knitting during church, but no one ever asks. No one hears my theory on knitting and worship. Or the importance of including all creative abilities in church.

Singers are always welcome, band players in demand, and the church can always squeeze in a dancer or actor, but an artist? A Crafter?

Is there a part for us in the everyday life of church? As we sit there listening to songs and sermons asking us to give our all, are we actually allowed to, are we given opportunity to show what we can do?

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