Prayer Shawls

It began almost 20 years with two women Janet Severi Bristo and Victoria Galo, who had studied together at the Women’s Leadership Institute at the Hartford Seminary. Inspired by what they learned there, they combined their love of knitting and crocheting into a prayerful ministry which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, and to mark occasions of celebration and joy.

Since that beginning their ministry idea has spread far and wide, generating prayer shawl ministries across the nation and even the world. The idea is quite simple. The shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient, and those prayers are continued throughout the shawl’s creation. Once completed, the shawls then receive one final blessing before being sent on their way.
These are some of the prayer shawls made for Uvalde that we blessed in worship.  These shawls, hand-knitted by our prayer shawl ministry, will go through the Uvalde mayor's office to the 19 families that lost children that day, to the families of the two teachers slain, and to the mother and grandmother of the shooter.   May they know they are not alone and experience God's comfort and love 
in these very dark days.
We have a team of folks that as they create these prayer shawls pray over them, and then send them as a sign of God's presence to folks facing hard times from disasters or other challenges.   And now they are sending them to some of our senior members who have been isolated in these days of Covid.  And so it was that this video came from one of those folks, the amazing Elsie Johns!   Although she has since gone home to be with God, we are glad she could feel surrounded by our love and prayers during those socially distanced days.   We love and miss you, Elsie!
Here at First Presbyterian, that final blessing occurs in our worship gatherings with the shawls being blessed collectively by the whole congregation before they go to people in need who could be right around the corner or across the nation. Our shawls have gone to victims of tornadoes in the Western states, to folks in need in Alaska, as well as to folks in need right here in Hollywood. But as these shawls go out, they go out with a tangibly powerful and healing message, God loves you. And when you wrap this hand-knitted shawl that has been lovingly prayed over, that sense of God’s love becomes more powerfully present than ever.
If you like to knit or crotchet or would simply like to learn, then this ministry provides a place for you. And like every ministry at First Presbyterian, it is not simply about the good work that you do, but about the relationships that develop as you gather with others in this very special knitting circle.

We'd love to hear from you.

If you would like more information about this beautiful ministry of literally hand-crafted love, please fill out the form below, and we’ll put you in touch with the Prayer Shawl team as they spread the love of Jesus in a beautifully hands on way!