In these insightful essays, Barbara Cawthorne Crafton reflects on a broad range of experiences ministering among merchant seafarers, the homeless, the bereaved, AIDS patients, and others in need of personal and spiritual help. She shares honestly her own emotions as she grapples with the harsh realities of the world, while delighting in the humor and joy found in everyday living.
Crafton compassionately recounts the unique stories of the men, women, and children she worked with during her service as a port chaplain in New York and New Jersey and as a minister at Trinity Church on Wall Street. In doing so, she weaves together threads of the mundane and the traumatic, the lovely and the ugly, and the down to earth and the holy, creating an original tapestry of the richness of life.
"A lively book...honest, funny, sad...impossible to put down." -- Madeleine L'Engle
"...a delightful series of 38 short essays...Readers will cherish both book and author." --Robert Pearsall, as printed in South Dakota ChurchNews, February 1998
"To read this book is to contemplate the meaning of all the small moments and major events that make a life worthwhile. As a minister is trained to do, Crafton uses failures and triumphs to illustrate lessons about life. To her credit, she does not use every essay to drum home the joys of Christianity. As befits as Episcopalian, Crafton is restrained about her faith, but nevertheless, it still infuses her every paragraph...Weaving together threads of the lovely and the ugly, Crafton shows the richness of life. This is an uplifting book, filled with compassion and joy." --Caryn Neumann, American Reporter Correspondent, American Reporter, March 14, 1998
"Though the essays are on Crafton's experiences, each experience leaves readers with something to ponder and apply to their own lives. This is another soul-friend encounter with memories that last." -- Sister's Today
"The Sewing Room is an easy-reading, stimulating book for all readers. it helps to recall memories of childhood, marriage, parenting, traveling, and helping others outside of your personal life. Emotions are shared honestly--some may tug at your heartstrings--but they are written with tenderness to reach out to people in all walks of life. It is a book that can touch the heart." --Thaya E. Gilmore, BS, Editorial Assistant, as printed in Healing Ministry, March/April 1999
"Through honesty, humor, openness and real vulnerability, this writer reflects on life, love and work, and invites readers to enter her ‘sewing room' and do the same." --Bettie J. Durrah, as printed in Horizons, July/August 1998