LUMC Prayer Shawl and Fidget Quilt Ministry
Written in 1998 by: Janet Severi Bristow Copyright ©2015
Lima’s Prayer Shawl Ministry began in 2006 as a way to share God’s love with others. The Fidget Quilt Ministry was added in 2014. Each item created has a hand-sewn label which says “Made with Tender Loving Care. Lima UMC Outreach”
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. 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 stitch. They furnish an opportunity to share with those who need a boost in difficult times.
Shawls can be used for: undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement; prayer or meditation; commitment or 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!
Fidget Quilts are made from a variety of textures and objects that dementia or Alzheimer’s patients find appealing as their once busy hands search for something to occupy them. As the disease progresses, the hands get more nervous and fidgety.
In the latter stages of Alzheimer’s, patients have been known to pull on bed linens or clothes – or run their fingers up and down the sheets repetitively. Even though their minds have been impaired, their hands still search for items to manipulate.
The Quilt is similar to a toddler’s “busy book”, with activities like zippers, Velcro, laces, buckles, buttons, gloves, and items – such as stuffed animals – to place inside pockets. Fidget Quilts can be individualized to match a person’s interests or personality. They are sturdy, and items are securely attached. They are both utilitarian and beautiful because we want them to be used regularly, not put away in a drawer. Fidget Quilts come in a variety of themes. These personalized lap Quilts can also provide warmth and security for a loved one during a time of uncertainty in their lives.
More importantly, the caregiver gains a sense of empowerment in an often overwhelming situation. It is something special that a caregiver, family member or friend can do to bring contentment to their loved one.
As the Shawls and Quilts are made, we pray for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the recipient, and that the person receiving the Shawl or Quilt will feel God’s love for them.
Members of Lima’s congregation have a part in these Ministries, meeting regularly at the church each month to share and support each other in the knitting, crocheting, and quilting effort. Some work at home, and others participate by donating their accumulation of yarn, leftover materials, or various trinkets and toys that can be integrated in the Quilts or Shawls. Members of the congregation assist in finding recipients for each item. Working together offers the opportunity to share God’s love for each of us and encouragement to all involved in this awe-inspiring ministry.
Please contact our church office should you have a personal need or wish to give a Quilt or Shawl. 610-566-7109