22 May 2011

RLC's Prayer Shawl Ministry

Recently, I have received many phone calls about needs for prayer shawls at my church, Resurrection Lutheran Church (RLC). One of these requests was for a little boy (age 4) who was in a bad accident. I told the requester that a prayer shawl would not be good for him....wrong age and wrong sex. I said I would make something for him and in my free (feel free to laugh here) time I would make something for him. 81 squares of a prayer afghan. It will be small, but he is small. It will be small, but he can carry with him and it won't trip him up (very important given the type of injury). Then I went to church and found a prayer shawl for his mother. I saw her the Monday after the accident and she was looking very stressed and I felt would benefit from this gift. But we didn't have anything for the dad of the little guy. We didn't have anything for him or for his brothers. I spoke with the secretary and got put down to give a temple talk. (A speech about the needs for this ministry).

I then called people that I knew had received a prayer shawl. They gave me some great quotes. I will share part of my speech here:

I remembered something that I read: In every stitch there is a prayer. This prayer shawl started with just 3 little stitches and increased by one every row. When it is finished, it will have about 12000 stitches or 12000 prayers.
Then I began to remember all the people who received a prayer shawl, afghan, toy or gift. Then I began to talk with them.
My first ever shawl was given to Clara after the death of Jack. It took me a long time to compete. But I worked on it a little bit every day. But I finished it and gave it to Clara. Clara told me that prayer shawls make you feel good because it helps to know that people are praying for you. It is wonderful!
After the crash Alex and the girls were in, we gave the family a prayer shawl or afghan. Kristin just recently told me that her girls cherish their shawls.
Diane told me, after her mother lost her leg and she received her prayer shawl, it helped her to know that people who didn’t know her were praying for her and cared for her and wished her well.
Annie told me that she wears her prayer shawl all the time. She feels the extra prayers and love that are meant for her.
Marty told me that the prayer shawl given to Carson brought him a lot of comfort, especially at the hospital and he wore his all the time.
In speaking with Judy, she reminded me that making a prayer shawl provides benefits for the knitter or crocheter. The person receiving gets the benefits of knowing someone cared for them. I remembered reading many different books where someone said that there are health benefits in knitting or crocheting. It lowers blood pressure and relieves stress. Basically, a hook or needles and yarn are cheaper than a therapist.
Glee told me she also cherishes her prayer shawl, given to her before she had surgery. She wore it all the way to the OR and would only give it up when there was a chance that it wouldn’t make it back to her. She shared her prayer shawl with her husband Paul and Betty Robertson before their surgeries. This shawl means the world to her.
Sharon said, “Crocheting is a gift that God has given to me. To be able to create a prayer shawl for a special person I care about with the wonderfully soft, silky yarns that are available is actually relaxing and comforting to myself as I stitch and pray for my friend or loved one, I’m concerned about. I pray, asking God’s blessings for them as I stitch along, “Oh, Lord, bless my loved ones with your healing touch!” So my gift becomes a gift of hope, of comfort, of peace, of love. And when the recipient wraps up in one of these beautiful shawls, it will remind them of the love with which it was created.”
As one person told me, “It is like comfort food. You wrap up in your afghan and you have a feeling of comfort.”

When I got to church on Sunday, we had some new prayer shawls in our bin and someone that I didn't know could crochet or knit, brought me a blanket she was working on and said I made mistake, help me fix it and then teach me how to cast off. She had made a baby blanket for anyone who might need it for a baby! How wonderful!!

I really do go to church with some great people!!

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