Volunteer Spirit: Ministry mends more than hearts

WEST KNOXVILLE, (Tenn) -- They've been called a sewing circle.

A knitting group.

But the ladies who meet, armed with their needles and yarn at Cokesbury United Methodist Church on Tuesday mornings, make up a ministry that makes prayer shawls.

Nancy Giguere says, "We pray over the yarn and pray for who ever receives this, will receive strength and comfort or encouragement from it."

They showed us one that is for a woman having hip surgery.

Another is for a woman having lung surgery.

They are bundled with an elegant bow and a note with a prayer and the name of the shawl's creator.

Carol Hollar the Director of Congregational Care says about a member having surgery, "We're taking one to her now so she can take it to the hospital so she will know people are praying for her."

Nancy says, says, "Sometimes we know we are knitting them for a specific person, but most of the time, we stock pile them."

The Prayer Shawl Ministry started about 6 years ago and these ladies have made numerous shawls, reaching out to hundreds of people in their church family.

People who are sick, dealing with the loss of a loved one, undergoing treatment for cancer, the list goes on.

Jackie Paddock says, "I enjoy it but it is also something that I love. The people that receive them mean so much."

One by one, members of the ministry pray over the finished shawls during a special ceremony.

And they're blessed by a pastor.

"As lives are touched by them (shawls,) lives will be touched by you (God)."

And in case you're wondering, you cannot buy a prayer shawl.

But if you happen to receive a prayer shawl, consider yourself, blessed.

****They will teach anyone interested how to knit or crochet a shawl, so feel free to join them on the North Campus Tuesday mornings at 10:00.

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