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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Smyrna, Delaware St. Peter's Episcopal Prayer Shawl Ministry

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Smyrna, Delaware St. Peter's Episcopal Prayer Shawl Ministry
Created By: Broshia Andrews

St. Peter’s, Smyrna, Delaware, is a small parish, but our parishioners have huge hearts filled with lots of love and give that love generously in many ways. One of those ways is our Prayer Shawl Ministry which we began in 2002. One of our members visited a church where this ministry existed and shared the concept with us and we were off and running. The concept is to say prayers the entire time we are knitting or crocheting the shawls, personally, I say the prayers most of the time, but all of the time spent is a gift in itself and done with love.

Because the Prayer Shawls are a gift of prayers and love we encourage our crafters to create their gift any way they choose. They may knit or crochet the shawl with any type of yarn and pattern they prefer. After all, it is their gift to give and they should be comfortable making it. We normally do not meet as a group except when we get together to help others learn to knit or crochet. We have about 10 people who make the Prayer Shawls and we have given away over 100 such gifts. There has been an exciting ripple effect when the shawls are given out. One such example occurred when a missionary couple from Sierra Leone, Africa visited St. Peters for some time. They were so impressed by the enthusiasm of our congregation for this ministry that she learned how to knit and they took the Prayer Shawl Ministry, complete with donated yarn and needles, back to Sierra Leone with them to teach their people there. They also introduced it to another church they were visiting here in Delaware. Quite often we receive requests from other churches for information about the ministry when someone in their congregation received one of our Prayer Shawls.

Once the Prayer Shawl is completed it is placed on the altar. Then with prayers from the congregation the shawl is blessed by our Priest during the Sunday service. Sometimes the shawls are immediately delivered to someone, other times they are kept for upcoming needs. We include a lovely card with a prayer from the St. Peter’s Crafters. Most of our shawls are made for women and men, but we also do smaller ones for children. Although the crafters make the Prayer Shawls, it is the people of the congregation the spread the word and the love of God by giving the shawls to the people who need them.

It is a great joy to share the wonderful thank you notes we receive with the congregation on Sunday morning. The stories they tell are just awesome. Some people take them into surgery with them; others surround themselves with this love as they endure chemotherapy sessions. One man even wrapped his shawl around his newly amputated leg. “I feel better already” he said. Our son is in Iraq and one day on the phone his wife said she really needed a hug. I thought to myself, hmmmm, I can do something about that even though we live several states apart. So I made this Prayer Shawl with prayers for her and their two children so whenever one of them needs some comfort from prayers and a loving hug it is there for them. She had not heard of the Prayer Shawl Ministry until now, but I will be hearing from someone at their church wanting to know more about it.

Please know that God is alive and well in Smyrna, Delaware and we at St. Peters feel blessed to have the Prayer Shawl Ministry as part of our Outreach Ministry.

Authored by Broshia Andrews

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