Fishers of Men


As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea-for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Mark 1:16-20

This was the Gospel reading from Liz’s commissioning service. The rest of the blog will fill you in on all the details.

There is a very lovely friend of mine who is the head of youth and family ministry at the church I attend. She recently finished seminary to be an associate minister. After that she was called to our church.

After being called she began to work on her commissioning service. For this particular service she needed to wear a robe and a stole. She ordered her robe, but not a stole. She approached me about making one. Stoles can be quite intricate and quite beautiful, but she wanted to save a little money and have something that was special to her personal ministry.

An associate minister wears a deacon stole. Deacon stoles go across the body kind of like a beauty pageant sash. We met one afternoon and looked at tons of stoles online to get an idea of what she wanted. We stumbled across an idea that would involve the kids of the church. It just so happened to be an idea that I had kind of used before. Here is a link to what I found. I have used freezer paper stencils to paint pillows before and I thought it would be a great idea for this project because it would allow for the youth of the church to be involved in this special project.

I purchased the fabric (white polyester) and then washed and dried it. I used her measurements to make a pattern and then cut it out of the fabric.

stole 9

I rolled out the freezer paper to figure out how much I needed. I traced the outline of the stole so the paper would be the same shape.

stole 10

I drew on a pattern that was similar to this because it was a stole that we really liked. Her stole needed to be predominately white because of the season of the church.

stole 11

I cut out the pattern. This was probably the most difficult part because it was tedious and time consuming. You have to be pretty meticulous so you don’t mess up the pattern and have to start from scratch. After all the pieces were cut out I ironed the pattern to the stole. It creates a stencil.

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There was a parents night out happening at church and it was a perfect event for the kids to do the painting. Here is the set up. I took just a few kids at a time and gave them a circle sponge and a plate with a very small amount of paint. I am a little bit of a control freak about my projects so I might have threatened them a little bit and “strongly encouraged” them to be very very careful. It was difficult for me to have them help. I was pretty sure it was going to be wonderful, but if it had been a disaster I could have just made another one and pretended it was the one they did.

stole 3 stole 2 stole 4 stole 5stole 1

Here are some pictures of us painting at church. Please excuse the messiness of myself in these pictures. I knew I needed to wear paint clothes.

stole 6All the kids that painted stole, signed their name on what would be the lining of the stole. I made it line up so that their names would be right next to her heart.

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I pulled the freezer paper off so all the kids could see the design they had been working on. They were very proud.

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Here is the whole stole laid out so all the parents could see what the kids had been working on while they were out.

After it was dry I put the 2 pieces of the stole together. I laid them out and pinned them together with the outsides facing in. I actually had to add another little piece of fabric where the signatures were because they were showing through the front.  I sewed almost all the way around, but left a little hole. I turned the stole right side out, just like you would with a pillow. To keep the edges nice and flat I top stitched all the way around the edges. This also closed up the hole.

2nd try

Here she is in her robe and stole. I think she looks fantastic! I’m very thankful to know this special lady and have her in my life. And I’m sure the rest of the congregation feels the same way!

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Showing off the kid’s signatures. They landed right near her heart, which is what we were aiming for.

The scripture from Mark is very dear to her. It has played a big role in personal and professional life. I think the project captured   pieces of this scripture and pieces of her ministry. I know she was happy with the finished stole, and so was I. It really felt like this was one of the most important projects I’ve ever made. It was a huge honor to be involved with this.

While you are online, check out this song.