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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : "A HUG FROM GOD" IN STITCHES
 

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"A HUG FROM GOD" IN STITCHES
Created By: Janie Lester

May 13, 2006 was our official dedication and Blessing by Senior Pastor Dennis Glick of this newly formed ministry, St. Paul Lutheran Church Prayer Shawl Ministry. We began with 12 members and today, two years later, we have 47 members. Good organization is a major key for a successful ministry along with a mission and a passion to serve and to share God's love. We meet twice monthly, and we teach knitting and crochet for our beginners and always delight in seeing each other's finished shawls. Our group members purchase their own materials, knitting needles and various yarns. Lion's Brand "Homespun" is a favorite among our members. Our shawl makers bring their creative ideas to our meetings, which makes each shawl so different and personal. For example, some of our shawls have a knitted cross right in the shawl; and another is a shawl with sleeves.



During our meetings we always read a devotion from a Women's Devotional, then share in contemplative discussions all the while working on our projects. When we pray, we hold our shawls, or exchange shawls to hold and bless while in prayer. We pray for God's care, protection, wholeness, strength, patience, and healing. We do not know where our shawls will travel, or what the needs are for each recipient, we totally rely and believe the power and mystery of the Holy Spirit will place our shawls wherever needed.



Our Pastor's take prayer shawls to our members who are sick at home or in the hospital, and to our shut-ins. We also have prayer shawl request forms in the pews for our congregation, which is some of the ways we distribute the shawls to those in need.



Our St. Paul Prayer Shawl Ministry has now reached global efforts. Some of our shawls have been sent to Norway, to Guatemala South America, and to Australia. Recently, 20 of our prayer shawls were sent to Krgyzstan to our wounded and active soldiers of "Enduring Freedom Operation", with more shawls to follow to our soldiers. This is inspiring to all our shawl makers knowing our efforts are reaching fare beyond what we ever expected when starting this ministry. When we pray over our shawls, part of our Shawl Maker's Prayer says...."And Bless our shawls Lord as it TRAVELS to bring peace and comfort to someone in need of Your warming embrace". We never dreamed this "Hug From God" would be traveling so far, to a far away place in Asia,...Krgyzstan.



This beautiful ministry has touched many, many people, not only the recipients, but the shawl makers as well. At our church, we display our shawls at all services three times a year, so the congregation and friends can see what we do, and it's also an opportunity for others to join our ministry. We recently gave a presentation and knitted scarf gifts to 60 Pastors and wives who attended "Mega-Church" at St. Paul. Through this effort, other churches around the country have contacted us for information in starting their own prayer shawl ministries, as well as LWML, and The Pastoral Leadership Institute.



In closing, I would like to share what two of our shawl makers wrote to me about what this ministry means to them. She said, "I wanted to be a part of this Prayer Shawl Ministry the first time I saw a display of the shawls at church. It left such an impression on me that a such a simple act of knitting could bring such hope, comfort, and love to someone in need of kindness. What a wonderful way to share the love of Jesus. I have been wanting to do something special for our wonderful soldiers and now that some of our shawls are going to Krgyzstan, it is a loving way to thank them for their service and to let them know prayers are being offered for them. I have received so much from this ministry. I have made new friends, and our devotions have challenged me and has given me such a great sense of accomplishment to be a part of the prayer shawl ministry". (Pat Droege)



Another wrote, "When I was asked to be a part of this ministry, I thought "wow" what a nice thing to do for people. I very quickly found out that I was a recipient as well; not of a prayer shawl but of the Grace that God gives me just by being a part of it. I sit down with some of the most beautiful, wise, talented, creative, skilled and eager-to-learn women I've ever known. While we exchange and pass on our skills, we also exchange thoughts, ideas, and experiences through the devotions we read and the prayers we say. The Lord's presence is with us, His Spirit is all around us". (Loretta Wortmann).



The shawl ministry is truely a warm "Hug From God".



By: Janie Lester,Founder and Leader of

St. Paul Lutheran Church Prayer Shawl Ministry




 
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