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Shawl Ministry

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“You created every part of me, knitting me in my Mother’s womb. For such handiwork, I praise you. Awesome this great wonder!”

Psalm 139:13-14

About The Shawls

In 1998, Janet 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.

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 onto 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!

Besides knit and crochet, the shawls can be woven, sewn, quilted, machine knitted, etc.

“Shawls … made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally 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… “
Janet Bristow -1998 (c) Copyright 2005

Shepherd of the Hills Shawl Ministry meets the fourth Monday of each month (September through May) at 7:00 P.M. at the church. New members are always welcome. The group gladly accepts contributions of yarn for use by the ministry.

Some uses for the shawl

Undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss, during bereavement, prayer or meditation, commitment or marriage ceremonies, birthing, nursing a baby; as a bridal shower gift; leading ritual; first menses or croning rites of passage, during an illness and recovery; ministering to others or just socializing… There are endless possibilities!

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.