History of our prayer shawl ministry:
A group of women who participated in the first Women’s Leadership Institute at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, CT began this shawl-knitting ministry in 1998. The women of First Church first heard of this ministry at the 2006 PW Church-wide Gathering at Louisville, KY. Our Sacred Threads Knitting Circle was started in 2007.
People knit (and crochet) shawls for many different reasons. Shawls celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and baptisms, friendship and love along with professional and personal achievements. If one could wear the heartfelt sentiments often found in a greeting card, it would be as a shawl. Shawls console those who are grieving, comfort those who are ill, bring hope to those who are in despair. The reasons to knit a shawl are as numerous as the people who knit and receive them.
The ministry continues to grow. When a person wears a shawl, they are connected with many people throughout the world. The love and caring exemplified in the making of these shawls extends beyond denominational boundaries. News of our circle has inspired several groups of women to begin a shawl ministry in their own churches.
We have a cedar chest in our Mission Way, in which we attempt to keep extra shawls for needs of those in the congregation. But usually the demand exceeds the supply. We welcome anyone who likes to knit or crochet to join us every Tuesday at 10:00A.M for knitting (or crocheting) and fellowship. We usually continue the fellowship by going to lunch afterward!
When a shawl is begun, the person making it prays for its recipient, whether-or-not that person is known. When we finish a shawl, everyone present at our circle on that particular day holds it in their hands and prays for the person who will receive it. It is then placed on our Communion table and is blessed the following Sunday by our Pastor.