I’ve had a request for a pattern and/or instructions for making orange stoles for Gun Violence Prevention Sunday – June 5th 2016.
The national #WearOrange day is June 2nd, 2016, and when my friend, the Rev. C. Eric Funston posted the event on facebook, he suggested that he might want to wear an orange stole that Sunday. I offered to make one for him – and for any of our diocesan colleagues who might want to join us that Sunday in offering from the pulpit the message that we are committed as people of faith to countering the rise of gun violence in our communities and homes.
As the project has grown and been shared beyond our imaginings, I am grateful for the opportunity to share the work of making the stoles. I am not, as the following will demonstrate, a seamstress of any experience or skill; I am simply doing the best I can to place the gospel between our children and our guns.
I have used cotton fabric, 44″ wide, in two orange designs for the main front and back of the stoles. I can make four stoles out of 1-1/4 – 1-1/2 yards of fabric, rounded out with a trim at the bottom. I used a children’s handprint fabric at the ends of the stoles (I bought 1 yard in the first instance), to represent our prayers, our trust, and our responsibility, reaching up.
Even as I was making this post, another report was crossing my news feed of a 5-year-old child who died of gun violence – an accident waiting to happen that found its time when she found a gun under her grandmother’s pillow, and another family is torn apart.
This is the pattern I used for the mitred join at the neck of the stole:
Hint: open the image in a new tab if it gives you trouble.
Hint 2: this isn’t their original pattern because somewhere along the line I redrew it to the measurements I prefer, but I once got a stole “kit” from churchlinens.com and it was great. If you want something more professional and helpful, I highly recommend the kit.
The video gives a (very) few more detailed instructions on how to construct your stole.
And here, in part, is what Bishop Hollingsworth (Diocese of Ohio) told his clergy this week, writing from his sabbatical:
Awareness that gun violence is epidemic in our nation and society is essential if we are to be creative and self-sacrificing in healing the culture of fear and aggression in which we live. The notion that gun safety regulations infringe upon individual rights is unreasonable. The lack of such regulations compromises everyone’s right to live in safety.
This non-partisan witness to the Prince of Peace, who gave his own life that all might be saved, is one way of reminding ourselves and others of the self-sacrifice required of us for all of God’s beloved to be safe. It is a sign of our belief in the God who cares for every one of us as a shepherd does his sheep, and of our commitment to be the voice, hands, and heart of the Shepherd in our own time.
I commend you to God’s keeping in safety, in passion, in orange, in love.
Featured image: clergy of the Diocese of Ohio preparing for Wear Orange Sunday. Photo by the Rev. Jeff Bunke