In the heart of the newly renovated Christian Reformed Church in North America offices in Burlington, Ont. a quilt hangs prominently. It includes blocks from 65 different Christian Reformed people from across North America.
“The variety of shapes and fabrics of a quilt beautifully reflect the diversity of the CRCNA,” said Dean Heetderks, art director for The Banner, who came up with the idea for a quilt when helping strategize art for the office walls. “The texture and warmth of the quilt also convey the welcome the Christian Reformed Church strives to offer.”
The idea for a denominational quilt was shared on Facebook; Sheila Van Der Linden of Edmonton, Alta., agreed to coordinate the project. She wrote instructions for a block and asked quilters from across the continent to send blocks to her for assembly and quilting.
Quilt squares from 65 people representing at least 45 Christian Reformed congregations from Colorado to New York and from British Columbia to Nova Scotia arrived at Van Der
Linden’s home and were incorporated into the final product.
Each square was done in the “log cabin” style and could use any light and dark fabrics the quilters chose. This would help to reflect the diversity of the Christian Reformed denomination. The only request was that the center of each block be a purple fabric to reflect our unity.
“I chose purple to be in the center because it is a royal color, and I wanted this quilt to honor the King of kings. I also chose to have the center square larger than the strips around it because he is greater than us,” said Van Der Linden.
The finished quilt measures about 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) wide. The constant presence of purple holds all of the squares together, and there is great diversity in the rest.
“Each seam in this quilt, each stitch, I can honestly say, was made with love. And each person who contributed did so to honor the King of kings with their gift,” said Van Der Linden.
Van Der Linden finished the quilt on time for it to be presented during the grand reopening celebrations of the CRCNA building on Nov. 6, 2018. She noted that a few blocks are still arriving at her place in Edmonton. She plans to make a companion piece with them to be hung elsewhere in the building.
“What I especially love about this quilt is that it is a product of the combined efforts of people in the local church—and how it produces such a showpiece of beauty in this building,” said Canadian ministries director Darren Roorda. “It reminds us all, again and again, of the great things God can do through the combined efforts of Christian people in our churches.”