Mending Church is a joint project, because we cannot repair alone.
We’re learning to repair. We invite you to join us.
We come to the work of repair from a couple of places. Our work is decidedly Black and Queer.
For me (Laura Everett), trying to live in a way that treads lightly on the earth and minimize our own environmental impact, I’ve shifted to primarily purchasing second-hand clothing… which led pretty quickly to needed to learn how to mend moth holes in wool sweaters and repair strained seams. My day job as a pastor means that I think a lot about things that are broken- broken relationships, broken dreams, broken communities. More and more, I was longing to learn with my hands what I longed for in my life: repair. In 2018, I was able to take a sabbatical leave from work to research mending. Special shout out to the Louisville Institute for grant support that made this research possible.
For me (Vernée Peacock Wilkinson), raising my children meant a constant cascade of skinned knees and worn cuffs. A degree in marketing and a love of the arts merged with a strong family tradition of sewing and repair. My day job as an educator, advocate, and spiritual director means that I think a lot about how we build community, and how our educational systems form young people and adults. Repair gives us a way into a conversation about the interior work we do.
Here’s the thing: the world is a mess. And sometimes we get overwhelmed by the enormity of the hole in the ozone, the tears in our community, the ways oppression and structural injustice separates and divides. We try my best to repair what we can. When the enormity of it all feels overwhelming, sitting in our living room in that big comfy chair and fixing a hole in my beloved’s sweater gives me a sense of agency and completion. We know a patched sweater does not repair the world, but it’s where we start and to which we return when I lose a sense of our own capacity to repair.
Vernée in our indigo garden.