"Shawls...made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, 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
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 a program of applied Feminist Spirituality, under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS. Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.
Whether they are called Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles, etc., the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before the shawl is sent on its way. Some recipients have continued the kindness by making a shawl and passing it onto someone in need. Thus, the blessing ripples from person-to-person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!
(*The shawls can also be crocheted, quilted, woven or machine knitted as well!)
Some uses for the shawl... Shawls can be used for: undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement; prayer; marriage ceremonies; birthing, nursing a baby; bridal shower or wedding gift; during an illness and recovery; ministering to others; graduation, birthday, anniversary, ordination, holiday gifts; 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.
We invite you to join us in this ministry.
Volunteers are always needed to knit, crochet, quilt or weave shawls for adults and children. Also needed, are people available to serve as "presenters" of these gifts to the recipients, as well as help with photography, supplies and gift bags.
Most importantly, we need your prayers for both the givers and receivers of the shawls.