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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Prayer Shawl Ministry

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Prayer Shawl Ministry

I first heard of prayer shawl ministry from my neighbor when she explained why and what she was knitting instead of working on her usual needlepoint. That was an AHA! moment and the creation of shawls as a prayer ministry was introduced at Epworth in 2005, using "Knitting into the Mystery" by Susan Jorgenson and Susan Izard as our guide.

Our ministry team of 10-12 knits or crochets shawls using what we call trinity patterns; simple repetitive patterns that allow for prayers to be said for a specific person and their joys or concerns from stitch one to the shawl's completion. Most of our shawls are made with Lion Brand "Homespun", as it is soft, machine washable and dryable, is colorfast, and comes in a broad spectrum of colors.

Our group meets monthly at which time potential recipients' cares and concerns or joys are shared and members choose for whom they will create a shawl. Completed and "in-the-works" shawls are prayed over individually and specifically with hands on. Completed shawls are then placed on the communion rail and are dedicated and blessed by the pastor before the congregation on Sunday morning. Shawls are created anonymously in the name of the congregation and are tangible evidence of the love and prayers of our congregation for members of our congregation, their families, and friends. They have gone as far as Russia and England.

More than 700 people have received shawls from our ministry. Within the last year we began creating baptismal shawls, by name, that are presented at the occasion of baptism of our members.

We had know idea where this ministry would lead us, nor exactly what we were doing. We have found that we are blessed beyond our expectations. Many stories come back to us regarding the effect of this ministry: a shawl was done in the recipient's favorite color of which we had no knowledge; a woman who had received a shawl was alone at home when she suffered a heart attack, managed to crawl to the phone, call 911, wrap herself in her prayer shawl at which time her pain greatly diminished and fear and panic were replaced by peace and calm. Each shawl has a story, often stories that have no rational explanation other than being evidence of the workings of the Holy Spirit.

Click here to read another story.
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