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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : Yarn Help's Spread God's Love, Stitch by Stitch
 

Customer Projects - Get Inspired

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Yarn Help's Spread God's Love, Stitch by Stitch
Created By: Mary Bryan

In the winter of 2005, through our Pastoral Associate, Sister Ellen Enright,IBVM, a prayer shawl ministry was started at the small church of St. Anne's in Chassell, Michigan. On a cold and snowy January afternoon, a group of ladies of all ages, gathered in Sister Ellen's living room as she read to us from a book she had received about prayer shawls and what this ministry would be for. Over cups of good hot coffee and prayers we decided this was a ministry we were meant to take on. And take it on we did!



Let me first tell you that we live in an area of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan known as the Copper Country on Lake Superior. Our county has a population of about 35,000 souls while the surrounding counties have only 2,500-3,000. We live in the "urban" area of the Copper Country and have only one major retail store in which to buy our washable yarns. However, since most of the women in our ministry live on Social Security, we mainly use yarns that are donated to us from people cleaning out their houses or what can be picked up at the local thrift shops. When we are especially blessed, we get some nice, soft Lion Brand yarns to use!



The folks who live in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.)are known as hardy "Yoopers", with a heritage of making do with what we have. St. Anne's Prayer Shawl Ministry was no different. Between January 2005 and January 2008,our prayer shawl group which varies in number from 6-14 people, have made an astounding 290 shawls!! Our prayer shawls have been given out on the occasions of illness, death, engagements, marraige,pregnancy and the addition of a new member to a family.The shawls have gone to inner city Chicago with Youth Ministers from our sister parish of St. Albert the Great Catholic Campus Ministry at Michigan Technological University in Houghton,MI,to be given to the women who are working to overcome addictions.



In all, our shawls have gone to 14 states, Canada, Ireland and Australia! We have also made "prayer afghans". The first one went to our retiring bishop, Bishop James Garland of the Diocese of Marquette. The second one went to his successor, the youngest bishop in the U.S., Bishop Alexander Sample.We also gave one to our priest when his mother passed away. When two young men from our sister parish who graduated from Michigan Tech felt called to the priesthood, each one recieved a prayer afghan upon being ordained!



As wonderful as all these things are, when our group sat around working,catching up on who gave out shawls, reading all the thank-you letters,looking at what each other had made and talking about what God has allowed us to accomplish, one thing stuck out.....that the love and prayers keep on giving. Almost all of us know of prayer shawls we have given that, when the recipient has felt loved, held and healed but then sees someone else in need as they once were, that recipient has- with love and prayer-passed that prayer shawl on. In doing so, we realized that the Lord has created a web of love, as our prayer shawls have connected people across the country who never even knew each other. Could we ask for our ministry to be any more blessed??



Submiited by Chris Bryan for the St. Anne's Prayer Shawl Ministry, Chassell, MI



Dear Sir or Madam,

I am unsure if the correct photos were attached. I am not terrible computer savvy. If there are no photos, please let me know and I will have Sister Ellen Enright send them to you.

Also, as you can tell by our story, we live in a rather impoverished area. Would Lion Brand consider making a donation of yarn to our ministry? We would be most grateful!!

Peace on Earth~

Chris Bryan



 
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