Prayer Shawl Ministry Celebrates 10 Years

Prayer Shawl Ministry Celebrates 10 Years

Since October of 2008, more than 1,000 prayer shawls have lovingly been made by a group of residents with the Prayer Shawl Ministry who meet each week to crochet shawls for individuals they most likely will never meet.

The group, ranging from 6-12 members who come each Tuesday, make shawls of all sorts of colors and patterns. The shawls have gone around the world, including Ghana, China and Haiti as well as several states around the country. Jean New, a founding member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, said it’s a wonderful time of socializing, but for her, it’s about creating something that will be used to bless someone and hopefully bring them joy.

“We don’t make them for specific people, we just trust and pray that they go to the right person who needs it,” Jean said. “When life is hard and difficult and they’ve received a shawl, we hope that they feel someone cares and has prayed for them. As we finish a group of shawls, we gather to pray over the shawls, that they would bring comfort.”

When resident Bonnie Berkihiser learned of this ministry, she decided to get back into crocheting and has really enjoyed it. She said each person gets a note along with the shawls that lets them know who made it and that they are being prayed for. Chaplain Bev Weddle distributes the shawls and she said there is no pattern to who they are given to, just as she hears of someone who might need one, she will feel led to give them one.

She shares that one time she left a shawl in a hospital room of who she thought was a Village resident, but wasn’t sure as there was not a name on the door. A few weeks later she received a call from a man, who wasn’t a resident, asking why he had received a shawl.

“I told him that I had left it by mistake, but God doesn’t make mistakes and he was the one meant to receive it,” Bev said. “He told me he was undergoing radiation treatment and was very appreciative of the shawl. God tells us where the shawls are to go.”

The Prayer Shawl Ministry has received many thank you notes and letters, sharing their gratitude for their gift.

Village resident Rosemary Banta has two shawls that can be found on her couch and chair as daily reminders of the kindness shown by those who made them. Rosemary’s husband received one while at the Village Care Center.

“Bev stopped in one time and noticed that my husband seemed chilled,” Rosemary said. “In no time, he had a beautiful shawl that we were able to put around his legs. And then a short time later, several ladies stopped in and noticed that I was cold as well, and they gave me the most gorgeous shawl. It brought us such comfort at a time when we needed it. It was an act of kindness that I will remember forever.”