Once, years ago, when I was grieving and struggling, a package arrived unexpectedly in the mail, addressed to me. I opened the package to find a beautiful, hand knit shawl with a note of encouragement. I wrapped that shawl around my shoulders and I knew that there were people who loved me and were praying for me, and I got through that crisis. I still love to use that prayer shawl, early in the morning, when I say my prayers.
St. Dunstan’s Church has an active prayer shawl ministry. As prayer needs are offered through our Care Teams, we watch for opportunities to respond with a shawl or lap blanket. People in our congregations, both at the Henry Chapel and St. Dunstan’s Church, knit or crochet shawls and we then bless them in our worship to carry our love and care to those in need. We will be blessing a new batch of shawls this coming Sunday.
Prayer shawls, both in their creation and in the giving, are a grateful response to God’s love. When someone knits a new shawl, each stitch is a prayer made real in the world; a prayer that God’s love and comfort will flow to whoever wears this shawl. When we pray over new shawls in worship, we are expressing our faith in God’s love and our compassion for those who suffer. When we give a shawl, we are expressing the very love that God has given us.
You are invited to contribute new shawls to be blessed and given, and you are encouraged to suggest people to whom we can give with these objects of love, comfort and prayer.
Yours in Christ,