Stole being presented by Church School for over seas Chaplain project. On April 1, an Army camouflage clergy stole made by Barbara Porterfield will be blessed at the 8:00 service.Barbara joined with 27 other stole makers from 25 states and a stole maker from Australia to make 41 stoles for U.S. Army chaplains serving in Afghanistan.
The Stole for Chaplains Project started in January when Sgt. Apollo Stower in Afghanistan contacted Elizabeth Morgan, former Altar Guild Directress for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany (NY) and owner of Church Linens& Vestments, with a request. He wanted a washable stole made for his chaplain in Afghanistan using Army camouflage fabric.
Elizabeth Morgan started researching camouflage fabrics and in communicating back and forth with Sgt. Stower, discovered that 40 other chaplains in Afghanistan would like a camouflage stole, too. Very quickly a one stole project turned into a 41 stole project. Elizabeth began enlisting help by contacting the stole makers she knew through Church Linens & Vestments. Soon, 28 stole maker were committed to the project.
Sue Newman from Connecticut volunteered to machine embroider the three crosses on the 41 stoles (2 at the lower ends and one at the neck). Sue also embroidered a prayer to be sewn on the back side of the stole which says, “Father bless our Soldiers and send them home safely to us. In the name of your blessed Son Jesus”.
Barbara Porterfield, a member of Zion (Episcopal) Church was one of the stole makers that Elizabeth Morgan contacted. An experienced banner designer and maker, she began making stoles when her daughter, Amy Porterfield Turner was ordained as a deacon. Now with both a daughter and a son-in-law who are Episcopal priests, she is committed to developing an array of stoles for them and their clergy friends. The stoles are presents for their ministry.
Barbara received fabric for one stole on Wednesday, March 14th and another e-mail from Elizabeth asking if she could send more fabric for another stole. Barbara agreed saying the second would come from Trinity Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, VA where her son-in-law, The Rev. Brian Turner is the Assistant Rector.
Elizabeth Morgan had a special request for all the stole makers – that the stole be taken to their church to be blessed and that congregations write notes & the children draw pictures to be sent along with each stole to be part of the present of the stole.
On March 18th, Barbara Porterfield took the almost completed stole to the 8:00 service and told the congregation about the project.On March 25, She will have the stole at the 10:30 service and it will be blessed at the April 1st, 8:00 service.
Elizabeth Morgan needs all the stoles, cards, pictures back to her by April 7th, so she can pack them up and send them to Sgt. Stower in Afghanistan. Later in April, the sergeant plans a “celebration” where he will hand all 41 stoles out to the chaplains.
Thanks to Zion for taking part in this wonderful project.