Prayer shawls are provided to clergy for distribution during pastoral visits and are given to friends and relatives who are sick, suffering the loss of a loved one, or who desire comfort. Shawls are often mailed to bereaved individuals out of the area. Baptismal blankets are provided at the time of a baby’s baptism, as a symbol of God’s love cradling the young child. Each prayer shawl and baptismal blanket is blessed prior to its presentation. This may occur during a church service or privately with the pastor and several members of our group.
The group meets monthly in members’ homes. For some members, meeting times may conflict with their schedules, nonetheless they crochet or knit as time permits and make valuable contributions to the group. We invite all to join us in this comforting, meaningful endeavor; contact Pastor Dave, Chaplain Paula or Dottie Hall () for more information.
This Prayer Shawl Ministry began at All Saints Lutheran Church, Bowie, MD, February 2010 when Dottie Hall shared her experience of receiving a prayer shawl upon a death in her family. She said that every time she wears it she feels God’s love as well as the love and prayers of the people who presented it to her. Dottie and Sig Beecher agreed to co-chair the program. As the program grew in popularity and in members, who often represented other Lutheran congregations in the area, the name was changed to Lutheran Women Prayer Shawl Ministry. Pastor Dave and St Martin’s graciously accepted the ministry in 2015. Currently our Ministry consists of about a dozen knitters and crocheters representing several Lutheran congregations in the greater Annapolis-Bowie-Crofton area.
A Baptismal Blanket serves as a small expression of caring from each member of a congregation that touches the hearts of those who take their babies home, wrapped in one of these blankets. At All Saints Lutheran Church, an elderly member single-handedly, lovingly and prayerfully prepared a Baptismal Blanket for each child at their baptism. Subsequent to her death, The Prayer Shawl Ministry accepted the responsibility for this important symbol of God’s love and care at the moment a person enters God’s Eternal Kingdom through Holy Baptism.
More than 400 prayer shawls and baptismal blankets have been given or sent to those seeking comfort and solace. Records are kept of this activity, which include a picture of each shawl and blanket, the person who prepared it, the individual or group who received it and any comments or cards that were received. This information has provided a rich history of the Ministry and many heart-warming memories.