‘Prayer shawls’ sent to Newtown congregation

PRAYER SHAWLS wrapped in love from Casco Village Church UCC were sent to Newtown, Conn. Pictured are (left to right) members of the church’s Mission Committee, Donna Brackett and husband Doug, Mission Chairwoman Joanne Vail and the Reverend Joyce Long.

CASCO — In wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., 25 special prayer shawls were sent on Dec. 19 from the Casco Village Church United Church of Christ to the UCC church in Newtown, Conn.

Accompanying the shawls was this letter:

Dear Reverend Matt Crebbin and the folks of Newtown Congregational Church, UCC:

The tragic loss of so many lives, many so young, others so dedicated, is felt by all of us. We offer our heartfelt prayers to the families of the victims and to your whole community; and we offer you these prayer shawls from our ministry.

These prayer shawls have been made by many different hands — young and old — and blessed by our whole congregation. 

So, from our hearts to yours, please distribute them to whomever you find who may need to feel God’s presence and comfort, a hug, warmth and compassion, because it is in this spirit that they are offered. 

We will keep you in our prayers here at the Casco Village Church, UCC, in Casco, Maine. 

With love and God’s peace,

Reverend Joyce A. Long.

Casco Village Church United Church of Christ Prayer Shawl Ministry gatherings take place once a month at members’ homes where a love of fellowship, prayer, knitting and crocheting takes place.

Knitters begin each shawl with prayers for the recipients. Intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawls. Each shawl is then blessed before being sent along its way.

“Some recipients have continued the kindness by making one themselves and passing it onto someone in need; thus, the blessing is rippled from person to person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!” church officials said.

“Shawls made for centuries universal and bracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify,” said creator of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, Janet Bristow. “Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles.”

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