Prayer Shawls Are A Blessing For All

Women in front of a selection of knitted goods.
These three members have been with the group since its beginning. Left to right, they are: Vera French, Mona Petten, and Margaret Dawe. Pauline Lear is also an original member of the group, but is not in this photograph. The items seen here on the table were donated to the women’s shelter and the Helping Hand. Photo by Florence Morgan-Thom

News from St. Luke’s in Port de Grave, NL

Time—where it goes, is a mystery. It seems like only yesterday that our St. Luke’s Prayer Shawl Group was started. In 2009, the idea was formed when on a return visit to St. Martin’s Anglican Church in Pickering, Ontario, I attended their prayer shawl group. This is the church that I attended while living there for 15 years.

It was a short time later, that I set up a group here in Port de Grave, knitting and crocheting shawls for the sick, the shut-ins, and anyone who wished to have one. Since then, we have made and given out between twenty to thirty shawls yearly.

Approximately five or six years ago, we began knitting scarves, hats and mittens for the  local women’s shelter and for the Helping Hand. These items are donated in early November. There is such a need for warm items, that it is sometimes difficult to supply enough of them.

Our group has evolved over the years. At first, we were all from St. Luke’s Church in Port de Grave, but now we have a member from St. Matthew’s (Bay Roberts), and St. Mark’s (Shearstown).  We also have one member from the Roman Catholic Church.

The blessing of the shawls normally takes place at St. Luke’s Church. However, on occasion when visiting a nearby seniors’ home, a religious service is performed. During the service, the shawls are blessed by the presiding priest; in many cases, that priest is from the local Roman Catholic Church. At the completion of the service, the shawls are then given out. Our relationship and the giving of our gifts, knows no religious boundaries.  

This past Sunday Fr. Paul Thoms, our Anglican priest, blessed thirteen shawls during the evening Holy Eucharist. Ten of these shawls were then taken to a local retirement home. 

Some of our members have changed over the years, yet others have been with us since the beginning.  

My thanks and gratitude goes to our eight members who knit, crochet, and purchase the yarn for the making of these shawls and winter items. I would also like to thank those who have donated yarn and those who made shawls but do not attend our meetings. Unfortunately, not  everyone has an afternoon free to join us.

Blessings to all.

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