Prayer Shawl Ministry
In 1998, Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, two graduate students 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.
Care and the love of knitting (and crochet) have been combined into a prayerful ministry that reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Many blessings are knitted into every shawl. The knitter begins each shawl with prayers for the recipient. Intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. When the shawl is completed, it is offered a final ritual before being sent along its way.
As this gift has been sent along, some recipients have continued the kindness by making one themselves and passing it on to someone in need.
Thus, the blessing is rippled from person to person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!
Some uses for the Shawl:
Undergoing medical procedures
as a comfort after a loss
prayer or meditation
commitment or marriage ceremonies
nursing a baby
as a bridal shower gift
first menses or croning rites of passage
during an illness and recovery
ministering to others
or just socializing
To make a shawl personal, the giver or the recipient may want to adorn the shawl with beads, shells, feathers, and charms. A blessing or ritual may be offered when the gift is presented.