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Prayer Shawl and Lap Robe Ministry

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 05, 2015 with No Comments

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Pictured (L – R) Betty Hull, Ethel Wells, Joleen Wilson, and Candy Gaines display some of the types of shawls and lap robes created by the members of St. Peter Lutheran Church's Shawl Ministry

For several years, the members of St. Peter Lutheran Church have been involved in a ministry that spreads God’s warmth and love in a very tangible way. Talented people create prayer shawls and lap robes to be given to those in need of a healing touch.

There are many different styles and sizes of shawls and robes.  Some are crocheted, some knitted and some are made of double layers of fleece tied together.  Some are large enough for the recipient to wrap around him- or herself.  Others are the perfect size to drape over one’s head or shoulder.  Whatever the size, the prayer shawl or robe can create a sacred space in which to meditate or pray, reminding the user of God’s presence and love.

Each maker begins the work with prayers for blessings for the recipient.  Prayer continues throughout the creation of it, and a final blessing is offered upon completion and before the shawl is given away.

The completed items are kept in the St. Peter’s Ladies Guild office.  Members who know of someone in need of comfort can take a shawl or robe to present to that person.  Often they are given to people facing medical issues or suffering the loss of a loved one.

Long-time member Ethel Wells brought the idea of this ministry to the Ladies Guild/Lutheran Women’s Missionary League.

“My sister Marg’s church in Dayton has a Prayer Shawl/Lap Robe Ministry.  I checked online and found that many churches have it.  I brought it to the ladies, and they agreed that they would like to take on this project,” Wells said.

“The St. Peter Prayer Shawl Ministry has combined compassion and the love of knitting, crocheting and tying into a prayerful ministry, as we reach out to embrace, shelter and love others.

“Each shawl or lap robe comes with a prayer: ‘May you be reminded of God’s grace as you wear this shawl/lap robe, warming, comforting, enfolding, embracing.  May this mantle be a safe haven, a sacred place of security and well-being, sustaining and embracing you in good times, as well as difficult ones.  As you wear this, may you feel Jesus cradle you in hope, keep you in joy, grace you with peace, and wrap you in His love.  Amen’”

Wells has knitting and crocheting patterns available for those who want them, but many create their own patterns.  Betty Hull knit a shawl and sewed two large buttons on it.

“That way it stays in place, especially for a person sitting in a wheel chair or hospital bed,” Hull said.

The members have created nearly 40 shawls and robes.  A large percentage has gone to other members of St. Peter, but others have been given to family, friends and neighbors in need of comfort.

“There has been such a good response to it,” Wells said.  “Some people just thank us once when they receive it, but others are absolutely thrilled and will say something every time they see you like, ‘Oh I use it every day, and think of you each time.’ It is such a nice way to share God’s loving embrace.”

For more information, call St. Peter Lutheran Church at 219-762-2673.

 

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