Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Prayer Shawl Ministry

In my visits around the Deanery as the Area Dean of Swansea I came across something called the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Here is the history and story of it's genesis:

"In 1998, Janet Severi Bristow and Victoria Galo, two graduates of the 1997 Women's Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut gave birth to a ministry as a result of their experience in this program of applied Feminist Spirituality under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS. Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every stitch.

Whether they are called Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles, etc.., the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before the shawl is sent on its way. Some recipients have continued the kindness by making a shawl and passing it onto someone in need. Thus, the blessing ripples from person-to-person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!"
From the website

The lady behind the ministry in St. Thomas, Bronwen, told how much those who have received one have appreciated receiving one and speak about the comfort and assurance of God's love they have felt after putting it around them. They have spoke of a sense of God's love for them, or a renewed sense of his abiding presence. Some of these people have been desperately ill and one has since died, but not before the shawl has brought a real sense of peace in time of need.

For more information visit the website here.

"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..."

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