"Shawls ... made for centuries universal and embracing,
symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.
They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace,
mother, hug, shelter and beautify.
Those who have received these shawls have been
uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to
fly above their troubles"
Written in 1998 by: Janet Bristow © 2008
Calling all knitters and crocheters. You are invited to participate in the "Prayer Shawl Ministry" of our church. We meet on the second Monday of most months at 7:30 p.m. in the church library. Shawls are knit by our group and then presented to those who may be grieving or going through an illness or are given during times of joy and celebration (birth of a child, anniversary, birthdays, etc.). The pattern is very simple and the knitting/crocheting goes quickly. Bring your needles/crochet hooks and yarn and meet us in the library for a time of fellowship and sharing. For further information contact the church office (673-3996) or Kay Donnelly. A website containing the history of the ministry, which is now international, can be accessed at http://www.shawlministry.com/. By the way, if you'd like a prayer shawl to give to a family member, friend or loved one, simply contact the church office.
About the Prayer Shawl Ministry as described on the organization's website...
In 1998, Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, two graduates of the 1997 Women's Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut gave birth to a ministry as a result of their experience in this program of applied Feminist Spirituality under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS. Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.
Whether they are called Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles, etc., the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before the shawl is sent on its way. Some recipients have continued the kindness by making a shawl and passing it onto someone in need. Thus, the blessing ripples from person-to-person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!
Some uses for the shawl...
Shawls can be used for: undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement; prayer or meditation; commitment or marriage ceremonies; birthing, nursing a baby; bridal shower or wedding gift; leading ritual; first menses or croning rites of passage; during an illness and recovery; ministering to others; graduation, birthday, anniversary, ordination, holiday gifts; or just socializing...there are endless possibilities!