Members of St. Luke Lutheran Church, Middleton, Wis., have been busy since The Lutheran ran a story about prayer shawls (December 2001). JoAnne Turner and Betty Hinsman put out a call for knitters, hoping to find a dozen. By the second month 60 had responded, including two high school boys. The ministry really took off last March." I started knitting during March Madness. It takes about two and a half basketball games" to make one shawl, Turner quipped.
Shawls were draped on the cross when blessed during Prayer Shawl Sunday last spring. Knitters pray for the recipient as they knit. Though the shawls are mostly given to elderly members, in Advent newly baptized babies joined the list of recipients. Confirmands will be next.
In one thank-you note, a woman wrote that the shawl brought her and her husband comfort in the days before his death. He died peacefully as they both lay sleeping with the shawl wrapped around them, said Steve Ganzkow-Wold, pastor.
Turner said, "When I was 10 or 12, I wanted to be a missionary, but my dad said I'd be too homesick. This is mission work. So I get to be a missionary after all these years — and I don't have to get homesick doing it."
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