October 31, 2014

By Martin Summer

Grandview United Methodist Church was recently featured on the Kansas City evening news (KSHB-41) for their new Angel Gown Ministry, led by Dianne and John Wright.  Dianne and John first learned about Angel Gowns from one of their granddaughters (who is a nurse) and the idea erupted from there. They found information at http://www.nicuhelpinghands.org, who started the program in 2013 because they “recognized the need to support families who lost a baby while in the hospital by providing a beautiful gown for final photos and burial services. There is no greater gift that can be given to a grieving family than affirming the importance of the life of their child by offering this simple gift.”
    
Since May 2014, more than 100 wedding gowns from Missouri, Kansas, and six other states have been donated to Grandview UMC to be used to create beautiful Angel Gowns sewn with love by a team of four seamstresses.  John has developed connections with seven Kansas City area hospitals (so far!) who received Angel Gowns to offer to families who experience a baby’s death.  Dianne shared, “With all the dresses coming in it has made me realize that folks really do want to do something good for others. They look forward to their dress being used to show love to grieving parents...I feel so blessed to be a part of this project.”
    
John & Dianne are pleased to have support for this project from three United Methodist Churches in the Heartland District: their home church Grandview UMC, Garden City UMC (Pastor Darren & Julie Rew – John & Dianne’s daughter), and Creighton UMC (Pastor Betty & Glen Wright – John & Dianne’s son).
    
Grandview UMC has NO NEED for more wedding gowns – instead they want to ensure that other churches with a desire for such a ministry have the same opportunity that was afforded to John and Dianne. The pattern and information that Dianne uses can be found on Grandview’s website (http://gviewumc.wordpress.com/angel-gowns/), and you can watch a the KHSB-TV video interview article here: http://www.youtube.com/ 
    
Pastor Judy Chaney Slimmer of Grandview UMC shared, “The thing about this ministry that makes me the most proud and thankful is that the effort and energy behind it is pure agape love: selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional.”
    
Questions about the Angel Gown ministry can be addressed to John & Dianne Wright at jdrite@gmail.com.