Prayer Shawl Ministry
Your Outreach Council invites you to participate in a prayer shawl ministry. To find out more about this loving ministry, read on.
"Shawls ... made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace,mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles... by Janet Severi Bristow, 1998
What is a prayer shawl?
A prayer shawl is a handmade shawl (knit or crocheted) we give to someone in need. Some suggestions are illness, bereavement, surgery/medical procedure, depression, giving birth, etc. The shawl maker prays for the recipient before starting the shawl, while making the shawl, and/or after the shawl is completed.
Who makes prayer shawls?
|We are all spending more time at home now, and creating prayer shawls is something we can do in the safety of our own home. If you don’t know how to knit or crochet, this is a great time to learn something new. YouTube offers many instructional videos that are very helpful. The Cathedral can offer Zoom meetings on knitting and crocheting, as well.
Are prayer shawls a project for women and girls?
No. Did you know that historically speaking, men did the knitting while the women did the spinning? In other words, men and boys have been knitting for centuries. Knitting and crocheting are for everyone, in fact, the following celebrities knit or crochet: Cher, Jane Seymour, Vanna White, Meryl Streep, Trisha Yearwood, Eva Longoria, Amanda Seyfried, Aretha Franklin, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Amy Adams, Kate Winslet, Kristen Stewart, Sally Field, Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Diaz, Brooke Shields, Winona Ryder, Madonna, Sandra Bullock, Whoopi Goldberg, Charlize Theron, Julianne Moore, Angela Bassett, Hillary Swank, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Zooey Deschanel, Ellen Pompeo (A better question might be “Who doesn’t knit or crochet?”
George Washington Carver, Ryan Gosling, David Arquette, Christopher Walken, Stephen West, Nicholas Hoult, Misha Collins, Paul Rudd, Victor Baxter, Jake Thomas, Kirk Dunn, Sean Kanan, Kenny Johnson, Sam Jaeger, Christian Clemenson, Christopher McDonald, Issac Mizrahi, Emerson Cod, Anthony Anderson, Lee Ermy, John Glover, Ewan McGregor, Tim Daly. Anyone over a certain age remembers that Rosey Grier (football player for Penn State and the Los Angeles Rams) was a knitter!
How do I make a prayer shawl?
We are following the guidelines on www.shawlministry.com. There are many patterns for knitted and crocheted shawls online, OR you don’t have to use any pattern at all. We are striving for dimensions of approximately 24” X 60”, though this is just a suggestion. You can find a variety of directions by searching prayer shawls online.
Where do I get a prayer shawl for someone in need?
We will have a closet or location at the Cathedral where completed prayer shawls will be kept. There will be a little tag on each shawl saying “May this shawl be a sign of God's loving, healing presence. May it warm you when you are weary. May it encourage you when you are discouraged. May it assure you of God's care and comfort. This was handmade for you by someone who has prayed for you.”
When you want to give someone a prayer shawl, take one out of the closet. We ask that you write the name of the recipient in the spiral notebook in the closet. This helps us to make certain that two people aren’t taking shawls for the same person. (This will be especially important when the recipient is a member of St. John’s Cathedral.)
Who can receive a prayer shawl?
Anyone. It can be someone with whom you worship, someone in your family, someone with whom you work, a school classmate, a neighbor, etc. Anyone you know who is in need will benefit from receiving a prayer shawl. Feel free to mail a prayer shawl to people who are not in Jacksonville.
How can I get involved?
If you already know how to knit or crochet, get some yarn and start working. If you are able to purchase yarn, that’s great. If not, we hope to get donations of yarn or monetary donations to purchase yarn. If you don’t know how to knit or crochet, look for instructions in a book or online (YouTube). Prayer shawls can be as plain or fancy as you want. When we are once again able to gather with each other, it will be a lovely opportunity to get together with relatives, friends, and church members who are able to teach you how to knit or crochet. This can be a great intergenerational project!
What if I’m not able to make prayer shawls?
If you are able to donate yarn, that would be very helpful. We also appreciate prayers for those creating prayer shawls, as well as those receiving them (“prayer shawl recipients”). Also, if you have family and/or friends who knit or crochet and are not involved in a prayer shawl ministry, we would love to have them join us.
“The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Made in prayer, as prayer, for prayer, the shawls are passed on hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart. Putting a price on a shawl defeats the purpose of this ministry. May we suggest a better alternative? If someone offers to "buy" a shawl, you can state that; "although the shawls aren't sold, a donation to our ministry is gratefully accepted in whatever dollar amount you feel comfortable in giving". These donations will allow your ministry to purchase more yarn and continue the 'ripple effect' of unconditional love!” ~ www.shawlministry.com