Since March, 2007, a small group of parishoners here at Zion Lutheran Church have been knitting or crocheting shawls that are then gifted to those who are healing, those who mourn, and those who are distressed. There is never a charge to anyone – ever – for the shawls made by our Ministry. Since its inception, this has been a self-sustaining ministry.
These beautiful shawls are made using a very particular silky soft yarn, Lion Brand Homespun – this being the yarn of choice for many of the crafters.
We construct each shawl using specific instructions, as each one signifies “threes”, i.e. in the Christian faith the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). As we craft each shawl, we always pray for the recipient. We pray for the blessings of comfort, courage, strength, hope, and love.
The shawls are not only given to members of Zion, but to anyone who would benefit from such a gift. We maintain a log of the distributions in order to avoid duplication and to reinforce the purpose for reaching out to the community in the time of need. Although we know we’ve distributed more than 175 shawls since the start of this ministry, we are unsure of the exact number because some of our records were lost during our last flood.
As we go about our busy lives, we sometimes tend to forget the impact that our ministry has on those hurting so deeply. But here is just one example of how we are able to touch the lives of those in need.
Not too long ago, a request for a prayer shawl arrived at our church office via the Internet, and it was forwarded to me. The lady requesting information regarding prayer shawls was from Missouri. She had a friend who was deeply mourning the loss of an adult child and was in great pain. She had heard that prayer shawls are a great comfort, but she knew of no one who made them or of how to “purchase” one – thus her Internet search. I had several email conversations with this lady during which she shared that she knew God led her to us, and then she gave me the information I needed to send the shawl to her friend… in Wisconsin! When I sent the shawl, I also enclosed one of our Prayer Shawl Notes; and then just simply put my return address on the postal box – no name. The following note came back in the mail to me…
"Dear Prayer Angel~~ for lack of knowing who you are. Do I know you? I am sitting at my desk, wrapped up with courage, strength, hope, and love – administered by your prayer shawl so beautiful. How could you know? Please accept my appreciation for thinking of me. Meanwhile – near/far, always and forever, God Bless"
Members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry:
Bev Reindollar, Chair