We extend our gratitude and most sincere appreciation to you for the work, volunteer hours, dollars, and energy that you have invested in the Mennonite Quilt Center in Reedley, CA. You have been an integral part of our store and have done so much to advance the art and tradition of quilting. Your efforts created a space for community and hospitality to many people who felt at home in the store.
The Mennonite Quilt Store came to belong to MCC in 2011 as a wholly owned business with a mission to raise money for MCC’s regional and global work. Mennonite Central Committee carries out relief, development, and peacemaking work in 45 countries on behalf of seven Anabaptist church groups, including the Mennonite Brethren, Brethren in Christ, and Mennonite churches. MCC shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. The West Coast MCC board of directors recently asked for a review of the store’s mission, impact, and financial situation. This review process involved conversations with many in the Reedley community. We received, feedback that the store offered a space for community. At the same time, the rigorous analysis of inventory, business plans and market factors suggested significant obstacles to financial profitability. In fact, since 2011, the store never posted a profit.
Taking into consideration all the input and information we gathered, we see an opportunity to lean into our strengths and better align our operations with the overall mission and vision of MCC. As part of our new vision, we have made the difficult decision to withdraw from a business model solely focused on retail fabric. MCC remains committed to the mission of relief, development, and peacemaking in the name of Christ – including in our local context. To this end, we will refocus on our core mission by converting the Quilt Store into the ‘Mennonite Quilting & Arts Relief Center’ through which we will continue to offer a smaller inventory of necessities and fabric, but will focus primarily on classes and local events and retreats.
This new Center will enhance the community-building potential of the storefront space by offering classes for quilting arts, comforter-making, and other artistic endeavors. We are very excited about plans for this upcoming fall. The new center will also create space for the Reedley community to engage with MCC’s existing relief work – preparing school, health, relief, and hygiene kits for vulnerable communities around the world including in the Ukraine where we have been for the past 102 years. We encourage anyone with a passion for quilting arts, a heart for people, and a desire to make a global impact in the name of Christ to consider the manager position for this new center, a description of which has been posted on our website mcc.org.
Please pray with us as we transition the Quilt Store into a new center, opening in the fall 2022. We invite God’s wisdom and creativity as we seek to be good stewards of God’s resources and to carry out MCC’s mission. We also invite your continued support for MCC’s global relief work – now through the Mennonite Quilting & Arts Relief Center. We believe that God will continue to touch lives in the name of Christ through our collaborative efforts in Reedley.
Dina Gonzalez-Piña (WC MCC Executive Director) & the Mennonite Quilt Center staff