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Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawl Ministry

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer some years ago, she was given a prayer shawl from her church to let her know that their thoughts and prayers were with her, as well as reaffirming God's presence and love for her. It gave her such comfort during her fight, especially in the last two weeks. I witnessed first hand what a wonderful form of outreach it was and thought it would be perfect for St. John's. I took the idea to the Pastoral Care Committee and the idea was warmly received.

The concept is very simple. A shawl is either knitted or crocheted in a pattern of knit 3 and purl 3, which represents the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and Faith, Hope and Love. A prayer is said when the shawl is begun or while knitting it. When the shawl is complete, a group say a prayer of blessing over it. It is then given to a person in need.

Prayer of Blessing

May God's grace be upon this shawl..
Warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing.
May this mantle be a safe haven..
A sacred place of security and well being,
Sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones.
May the one who receives this shawl
Be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace
And wrapped in love.

Everyone in the church can be a part of the Prayer Shawl Ministry by either knitting or crocheting shawls, by providing wool for others to knit, by providing money to buy wool ($24 makes a shawl), by taking a shawl for someone who is in need of prayers, hope or comfort and by praying for the person who received the shawl. Please leave any finished shawls at the office to be collected.

There are no set guidelines for giving a prayer shawl from the church. Our hope is that anyone who is in need of prayers, hope, comfort and love of a community may have a shawl. Prayer Shawls are given to people of all ages, both male and female. As people of St. John's Uniting Church hear of someone with a particular need (illness, family illness, grief, etc.) please be sure that person receives a prayer shawl. Anyone who knows someone in need can select a Prayer Shawl and deliver it.

When delivering a Prayer Shawl, we suggest that the giver choose a prayer shawl of their liking from the rack in the church foyer. Attach two cards to go with the shawls (one with their name and explanation of Prayer Shawl Ministry and either the card for grieving or the card for illness) from the pockets inside the white binder on the shelf from the Prayer Shawl rack. Fill in the registry book kept in the church office. (This helps us to keep track of who has received shawls and enables us to pray for Prayer Shawl recipients.) Explain to the recipient that the shawl was made with prayer and pray with them.

Kathy Ferguson
and the Pastoral Care Committee

To download the pattern for a knitted shawl, click here