Boroboro: Stitches for Souls

As we continue creating our Extraordinary Time Banner, Jennifer Merck shares how even our tattered scraps — all we have to offer — are too good to waste.


“When we tell our stories, when we read through the scriptures, when we study the history of our faith, we are unfolding the crazy quilt of the Story of God. A beautiful, intricate, pieced-together-one-scrap-at-a-time quilt. No matter how jagged or ragged the pieces we add, no matter how uneven or precious or dirty, a beautiful design continues to emerge.” (Jerusalem Jackson Greer)

Have you ever mended something that’s broken? Maybe you crazy-glued a favorite mug back together. Maybe you patched some jeans with holes in the knees. Maybe you tenderly stitched back together a well-loved cuddly.

In Japanese, boro means “tatters.” Boroboro is tattered cloth, a mending technique that takes tatters and makes both beauty and function. Mottainai, in Japanese, means “too good to waste.” It is the word used to encourage the principle we might call “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Mottainai is also the principle upon which boroboro is based — even tatters are too good to waste.


All Souls’ artists have been working hard on new Ordinary Time Banners. Watch them at work here. In this Coronatide, we might even call them Extraordinary Time Banners. Most of you have contributed fabric. [It’s not too late! Contact Cristy Marchis.] And now, it’s time to stitch!

Will you join us? We are creating our banner in the Undercroft at church. You can stop by on Wednesday mornings or between the services on Sunday. Or arrange a time that’s convenient for you. Email the Stitching Crew at to find a time that works for you.

No experience necessary. We need your hand, your eye, your style.
We need whatever you can offer. We need you.