Sew Team Is the New Go Team

No virus can stop the love of Jesus from mobilizing. Grace members are mobilizing teams from their homes to share Christ’s love and serve their communities.

April 27, 2020

The term "Go Teams" is heard frequently throughout the halls of Grace Church. It describes our mindset of mobilizing community members to share the love of Christ across the street and around the world. Sadly, the COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Order means Grace’s halls are quieter than usual and empty of its usual team players, but no virus can stop the love of Jesus from mobilizing. Grace members are enacting teams from their homes to share Christ’s love and serve their communities.

Amy Darr Grady is one of many Grace members who are reaching out from their homes. Recently, Amy and her daughter-in-law, Randi Lynn, were discussing the medical community and the need for masks. Randi Lynn wanted to make cotton masks for her husband’s team of lab workers who are working diligently at the University of Minnesota to fight the virus. Randi Lynn needed a pattern. Amy jumped on the internet to begin a search for the best pattern available. Before long, she found a video created by an anesthesiologist in Florida who was making masks from clean, sterile surgical wrap normally thrown away by hospitals.

Amy quickly realized the importance of these unusual masks. The sterile surgical material meant the fabric could repel the COVID-19 virus, something cotton masks cannot do. The sterile surgical fabric masks can be re-sterilized after use, and the fabric is readily available within the medical community.

Amy made a phone call to her friends and fellow believers, Kitty and Kevin Croston. Kevin Croston, President of North Memorial Hospital, listened to Amy’s findings and agreed these surgical sterile fabric masks were needed.

During this time, three doctors from Minnesota were pondering how to create masks from sterile surgical wrap, too. Dr. Leslee Jaeger and Dr. Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck of North Memorial Hospital and Dr. Sandra Roberts of Lakeview Clinic shared their ideas for developing a mask pattern. Together, they settled on the pattern that fits tighter across the nose and chin, providing more protection against the virus. Plus, the design is more comfortable than most.

Once the doctors finalized the pattern, Amy began assembling her sew teams. Among her team of talented volunteers are 100 women who stepped up from Grace Church. After responding to the call, mask-making directions were emailed, and fabric packets were assembled and distributed via social distancing protocol. Amy’s sewing teams were mobilized and on the go.

Over 2,500 masks are needed for North Memorial Hospital. Amy expects the need will be met within a few weeks, as her team has already made over 1,000 masks. Amy wishes she could make masks for the entire Minnesota medical community. She hopes that others will be inspired by her story to reach out to the medical professionals in their communities and launch a sterile-mask-making effort. She knows it takes time and commitment but believes the Lord calls each of us to do what we can when we are presented with the opportunity.

Amy is grateful for her faith in Christ and all the blessings she has received from God. She is glad for a church community that serves beyond its walls in all types of circumstances. Amy feels a sense of responsibility to the world around her and believes her calling is to press into what Jesus says in Luke 12:48, “To whom much is given, much will be required.”