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Prayer Shawls and Premie Blankets

 

The Prayer Shawl ministry at Grace creates handmade shawls that provide consolation and support to people dealing with illness, grief or uncertainty.

The Health Cabinet has recently expanded the Prayer Shawl Ministry to include the construction of tiny blankets and caps for premature infants in Good Samaritan Hospital’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Preemies are babies born after less than 37 weeks in the womb (full-term is 38-40 weeks). The earliest, tiniest of these babies weigh less than two pounds. They have multiple medical problems and may spend many months in the hospital.

Our blankets are eight to twelve inches square, and the caps are just a little bigger than a man’s thumb.  At Good Samaritan, any handmade article that touches a premie’s skin is kept in a small drawstring bag and is eventually sent home with the family. A handmade blanket or cap may become a treasured keepsake for a family going through a difficult time.

If you would like to make blankets or caps please contact MaryBeth Buschmann, Parish Nurse, for instructions.
If you have a friend or loved one who would benefit from the comfort provided by a prayer shawl, please call or email Grace (708-366-6900; gracechurch@graceriverforest.org).

PrayerShawlStripes.jpgJane Bristow, who cofounded the Prayer Shawl Ministry, has said, "Shawls . . . made for centuries [are] universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter, and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles."

Grace member Ackli Howell wrote about sharing a prayer shawl with her father-in-law.