One of the high points of Emmanuel’s 2003 Bicentennial was the gift of needlepoint kneelers for the Chapel and Baptistery altar rails. The project began in 1999 with the selection of a theme for the Chapel based on the birth and early life of Jesus. The idea was so popular that it soon expanded to the Baptistery, for which the life of John the Baptist was selected as a theme.
The designs themselves are the work of Jeannie Bauer, then of Fredericksburg, VA, and the overall consultant for the project was Nancy Lukoskie of Easton, MD. Classes were held to bring volunteers up to speed in the intricate work required by these designs. Emmanuel’s stitchers met regularly together to share their work and progress. After three years, over a million stitches and countless hours, the work was done. The kneelers were dedicated on Sunday, October 12, 2003.
Between the start and completion of the Needlepoint Project, on of the stitchers, Florence Whitworth, passed away. Her family decided that a fitting memorial to her and her husband David would be new kneelers for the High Altar. Ms. Lukoskie was brought back in 2004 and another phase of the project begun. These kneelers will celebrate the seasons of the Church year. The canvasses arrived in the summer of 2005, and work has begun.
At the end of the 2003 Bicentennial year, a little booklet “O Prosper Thou Thy Handiwork” was published by the Parish in celebration of the Needlepoint Project. It contains a fuller history and description of the project along with the Scripture verses that fit the needlepoint scenes, and meditations on them. To view the text of this booklet, click on Needlebook.