Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Call For Prayer Shawls

I got this e-mail from my dad today. He ran into a friend of his that needs help collecting a few prayer shawls.

If you read this and think you can help, please let ME know by commenting on this post, or directly contact Barbara as listed. (Though I really would like to see that you helped, too... so if you contact Barbara you could, you know, tell me anyhow...)

I'm going to paste what she said here, since she has so elequently described what exactly she needs:

From: Dunlap-Berg, Barbara
Sent: Wed 6/6/2007 11:28 AM
To: Nashville
Subject: Love to knit, crochet, do a not-so-random act of kindness?

If you knit or crochet, I would love to draft you for a prayer-shawl project related to the Bishops’ Katrina Church Recovery Appeal! The Gulf Coast annual conferences will host a celebration Sept. 6-7 in New Orleans. As part of this event, Mississippi Area Bishop Hope Morgan Ward wants to present prayer shawls to 200 of the top post-hurricane volunteers. Several of us at United Methodist Communications are working with the conferences to prepare for the observance.

One of my tasks is to get 200 prayer shawls. I contacted United Methodist churches featured in a Tennessean article about prayer-shawl ministries, plus several other churches recommended to me, and I put an article on the Tennessee Annual Conference Web site (that article will be repeated). I currently have commitments for about 125 prayer shawls.

A few UMCom staff—Jackie Vaughan, Tracy Wood and Bridget Worden—are involved in the project, knitting or crocheting as quickly as their little fingers will fly, and I am inviting others to participate as well.

My deadline is Aug. 1. I will attach a fact sheet that answers 99 percent of the questions.

Please let me know if you can help! Thanks so much.

--Barbara Dunlap-Berg, Creative Resources Editor, Connectional Giving Team

And here's that fact sheet:

Fact Sheet: Prayer Shawls for Katrina Volunteer Celebration
1. Why is United Methodist Communications involved in this effort?
Ever since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast nearly two years ago, United Methodist Communications has worked with the conferences in that region to raise funds, recruit volunteers and share stories of the church in action and response.
2. Why are prayer shawls needed?
Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Area wants to honor approximately 200 special volunteers from across the connection—persons who have given greatly of their time and talents to the recovery effort. Reflecting on the Isaiah 61:3 reference to “mantles of praise,” she—and her colleague bishops—would like to present each volunteer with a prayer shawl.
3. When and where will the prayer shawls be presented?
A celebration is slated for Sept. 6-7 in New Orleans to mark the second anniversary of the hurricanes and—more importantly—to thank volunteers who sacrificed time and money to make a difference; recruit additional volunteers, particularly skilled laborers; establish partnerships between Gulf Coast churches and congregations across the United Methodist connection; and raise funds for the Bishops’ Katrina Church Recovery Appeal.
4. Who will provide the prayer shawls?
The challenge now is to find individuals and church groups willing to knit or crochet prayer shawls for this celebration. Barbara Dunlap-Berg, creative resources editor for United Methodist Communications’ Connectional Giving Team, is spearheading the prayer-shawl drive. If you can provide prayer shawls for this celebration, Barbara would love to hear from you.
5. Are the prayer shawls for men or for women? Should they be knitted or crocheted? Are they to be one color or multi-colored? Are patterns available?
Katrina volunteers come in all shapes and sizes and are men, women and youth. That means the prayer shawls can be varied sizes. Both knitted and crocheted prayer shawls will be appreciated. No specific color is requested, so if you are part of a prayer-shawl ministry that already has completed shawls, they will be perfect! If you are purchasing yarn for this project, green for new life and blue for water are symbolic. Multi-colored prayer shawls are fine as well. They may have fringe, but that is not essential. Several patterns may be found online. [Shannah says: Our church's prayer shawl ministry uses the pattern found at and there is also lots of great information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry there as well.] Prayer shawls should be at least 50 inches long.
6. How many prayer shawls do you want from one individual or church?
Two hundred shawls are needed, so donations of one, 25, 50 or more will be warmly received. If you can commit to a certain quantity, it would be very helpful if you would contact Barbara in advance, (615) 742-5489, to tell her how many you think you can contribute.
7. What is the deadline for completing the prayer shawls?
The prayer shawls are needed by Aug. 1. However, you can deliver or send them before that date, if you wish.
8. Must I deliver the prayer shawls to you or can you pick them up?
Barbara will be happy to pick up prayer shawls within a 50-mile radius of Nashville. Prayer shawls also may be brought or shipped to her at United Methodist Communications, 810 12th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37203-4744.
9. Can we tell the recipient a little about our prayer-shawl ministry?
Of course! Perhaps you already have an enclosure to include with your prayer shawls. If not, please pin a note to each prayer shawl to let the recipient know about you and your ministry.

If you have questions that weren’t addressed here, please contact Barbara Dunlap-Berg. She will gladly respond. Thank you very much! For more information about the Bishops’ Katrina Church Recovery Appeal, please go online to

1 comment:

varun said...
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