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May 5, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Dear Friends,

Let us talk, for a moment, about giving and mending.

Those of you who visited Enfield Shaker Museum in the past year may have spent time in our exhibition on Sister Rosetta Cummings. As a woman who spent most of her adult years as an Eldress and Trustee, Rosetta was accorded much power. Yet what we have of Sister Rosetta’s life are her sewing boxes, full of the tools of mending and repair.

In a way, this sewing kit is a symbol of Sister Rosetta’s power. Anyone in a position of power spends a lot of time in the work of healing. Rifts in a community may result in rifts in the hearts of many, and vice versa. Sister Rosetta healed them for the good of the community. We may easily imagine her sitting next to a window, mending a sock or glove, repairing a torn pocket, and thinking about how to rejoin the whole as she pulled a threaded needle through fabric, creating a new garment in the process.

Since 1986, the Enfield Shaker Museum has taught the message of the Shakers: their belief in and commitment to equality, community, sustainability, and peace. In emphasizing the everyday, we educate schoolchildren and visitors about how little acts reflect larger ideas, and how those little acts may change the world for the better.

A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine who lives some 750 miles away in Michigan sewed a mask for me. Our relationship needs no mending, but still this mask is a symbol of our friendship, and our hopes for the future. It is an object of love, of care, of hope, and of respect for another human’s dignity.

COVID-19 has shown us what we, individually and together, can do. Today, on #GivingTuesdayNow, we at the Enfield Shaker Museum are asking that you donate a little so that we can continue to do a lot. And today, we are also asking you to give what you can to your community so we—as a community—may begin to heal.

What we choose to take along with us from this shared experience helps to define our future. So please join with us to define our future together.

With warmest wishes,

Shirley Wajda, Ph.D.

Interim Executive Director

Enfield Shaker Museum