At Tapestry Ministry, our desire is a movement of love motivated by Jesus Christ to reach the lost and hurting in our region. We provide spiritual care to people who have either left the church or have never been in the church. We feel called to go into the broken places of our world and encourage people with the hope found in Jesus. How can we love the social outcasts and misfits? We are all different, yet we have these ideas and preconceived notions of what we think people are — until we get to know them. So we break down those stereotypes by building intentional relationships with people in all walks of life through consistency, friendship and genuine love.
My name is Beth Broadbooks, and I have been working with Tapestry Ministry since it became a 501(c)3 in 2012. For the first few years, I was living in California and focusing more on at-risk youth projects, but in 2015, we shut down our Tapestry office in Los Angeles, and I moved to Sioux Falls to become executive director. Since then, the board of directors and I have been rebuilding our mission and vision and discerning in prayer how Tapestry could best serve Sioux Falls and its surrounding communities.
My heart has always been for outreach and marginalized communities. So when the board asked about my ideas, I proposed that we target different, provocative groups on the outskirts of the church. I wanted for us to be chaplains in places where the church isn’t active. I kept asking myself, Why can’t we be where people are really hurting? There are so many divisive issues in the church, but we just want to do what Jesus did, which is sitting with them, loving them, walking with them in their journey and calling them into the kingdom of heaven. This work can seem like an audacious kind of outreach, but I trust what God is doing in the life of my friends and myself.
Tapestry Ministry offers prayer and outreach to those spiritually and emotionally hurting in our community. We have talked to people about Jesus in bars, clubs, casinos, concert venues and tattoo shops, and our desire is just to be a bridge between the church. The people we find in these places are living alternative lifestyles, struggling with addictions or they might not feel welcome in the church. So, we meet them where they are at, and we just love them. We don’t come to them with any judgment or superior attitude. It is never “us” versus “them.” Instead, we know this work is a collective “we,” and as we walk closer to Jesus, we are all going to be transformed. No matter how long it takes to get there, together, we are going to move.
“It is never “us” versus “them.” Instead, we know this work is a collective “we,” and as we walk closer to Jesus, we are all going to be transformed.”
Today, our largest outreach effort is within the strip club community. Twice a month, a group of volunteers and myself visit clubs locally and within an hour and a half radius of Sioux Falls. We come in with cookies, gifts and notes of encouragement, and we spend our time connecting with employees there — including the women, owners, bouncers, bartenders and staff. What amazes me is that so many of these people identify as Christians, but they are not walking in the freedom that God has for them. So we engage in prayer and intentional conversation, helping them to realize their worth and see themselves in a positive light.
We also recently started working intentionally with the transgender community. We feel that very few faith-based groups are reaching the LGBTQIA community, so we want to be with those people. Last summer, we had a booth the Sioux Falls Pride Festival and since have been meeting people for coffee and attending transgender support groups. We just want to provide care as a faith-based group that isn’t wagging their finger or becoming offended and instead is just walking alongside and loving them.
One of the most impactful moments for me over the past three years was with a bartender inside a local club. After a few of our visits, he started emailing me prayer requests for dancers and staff there. My husband and I then invited him to come to our home for dinner, and as he was sharing with us his journey and how he loves God, he says to me, “I’ve been so impressed watching you and your team over the past couple years. Could I write you a letter of recommendation?” And that letter is such a beautiful representation of our organization.
In the letter, he wrote, “… One day, Tapestry Ministry showed up with smiles and cookies. They didn’t ask for anything in return. They only asked if anyone needed prayers. It was wonderful! … I feel that Tapestry’s approach is the best way to gain the trust of someone who has been hurt. People are seeing the selfless joy in these girls — the joy of having Jesus Christ in your life. I truly believe that Tapestry is the hands and feet of Jesus where it is needed most.”