Hands for Souls: A Prayer Shawl Ministry
a blog post from Laurel Dalrymple, Hands for Souls Coordinator
In the Old Testament, prayer shawls were for men to wear when they prayed. The modern idea of making prayer shawls for those in difficult situations began in Connecticut in 1998. Since then, the practice has spread far and wide, with the purpose of bringing comfort to people of both sexes and all ages, children as well as adults.
Ideally, it is all about intention. The intent is to infuse God’s healing, love, comfort, and protection into the shawl for the wearer by praying for the person who is going to receive the shawl . . . while it is being made . . . even though the person who will receive it is unknown. Also, the crafter will probably not know who has received the shawl after it is made, nor what the person’s needs are. Some recipients want privacy and that is happily granted. At All Souls, a member of the Clergy prays a blessing on the shawl when it is to be given to a specific person.
To make a Prayer Shawl, one can be a knitter, crocheter, weaver, or a seamstress of any kind. Right now, we have a few shawls ready, which are for men, women, young people, and even a few cuddly blankets for children. We also have some yarn available for those who would like to use it to make a shawl.
There are many needs and many people going through difficult situations at a church of our size. Hands for Souls is a wonderful ministry that can give them comfort and blessing. In 2022, there will be monthly meetings in people’s houses to work on our crafts, talk, laugh, eat, and drink. Please contact Laurel Dalrymple if you are interested in participating. If you know of anyone who could use and would like a prayer shawl, please contact Ann McCarthy, Director of Care Ministries for All Souls.