Every day high quality, loving care is given to older adults through the ministry of the twenty-one retirement communities that relate to the Church of the Brethren through the Fellowship of Brethren Homes. As a ministry to those who are aging and their families, these retirement communities are committed to working together on common challenges such as uncompensated care, promising practices, and maintaining the Brethren tradition of providing care for those in need.
To support this important ministry, the Church of the Brethren is encouraging congregations and individuals to send prayer shawls to any of our denomination’s retirement communities (Fellowship of Brethren Homes) so that the staff can give this gift of care and comfort to appropriate individuals in need.
Prayer shawls symbolize shelter, peace and spiritual sustenance. They also can be called comfort shawls or peace shawls. Several ecumenical organizations have donated hand-knitted and crocheted shawls for those in need.
The Church of the Brethren’s Prayer Shawl ministry is a simple, universal and enduring message of caring. The creation and presentation of a prayer shawl, like all acts of generosity, enriches the giver as well as the recipient. Compassion and the love of knitting/crocheting have been combined into a prayerful way of passing on love and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.
Shawls can be used during prayer or meditation; while undergoing medical procedures; during an illness and recovery; while ministering to others; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement. They also can be used for commitment or marriage ceremonies, birthing or nursing a baby, or as graduation, birthday, anniversary, ordination, or holiday gifts.
The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Made in prayer, the shawls are passed on hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart. Some work alone, others work in groups, passing the work in progress around a circle asking each person to add some stitches to the shawl, or to just hold it for a while to add their prayers and good wishes. Before giving it away, the maker says a prayer over the shawl, remembering the one who will receive this gift. It is also good to enclose an explanation and prayer in the package as it is sent to one of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes.
Where do I send the prayer shawls?
Prayer shawls can be sent to any Brethren Home. Click here for a directory of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes.
What are the dimensions for prayer shawls?
Approximately 24 inches x 60 inches; exact size is not important. Shawls can be made out of yarn or lightweight fabric. They may be used inside the home so lightweight fabrics work well.