Church women make prayer shawls
CAROL ZICKLER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Grace-St. Paul United Methodist Church on Route 903 in Jim Thorpe has a group of talented women who have knitted and crocheted over 400 prayer shawls since 2005. Here Connie Melber, Irene Pyne, Cassie Wallace, Pat Rowe, Leona Knotts and Pam Bacsick are holding shawls. Looking the Rev. Michael Netznik, church pastor.
Grace-St. Paul United Methodist Church in Jim Thorpe is a new church but women there have been knitting or crocheting prayer shawls since 2005.
Started by Pat Rowe, the group makes the shawls for ailing or needy people.
The oldest knitter is Anna Moore of MapleShade Meadows Assisted Living Center in Nesquehoning, who just turned 105 years of age.
She has knitted hundreds of the shawls.
Through Nov. 16 of this year, 69 shawls have been given out.
Irene Pyne performs the job of wrapping and mailing the shawls. She said she was surprised to find out how deeply it touches men.
The Rev. Mike Netznik, pastor of the church, agreed.
Anyone needing a shawl can contact Grace-St. Paul or Meed's United Methodist Church in Nesquehoning.
When Rowe read about a church in Arizona that made shawls, she decided to get women from the church together and participate in the project. Leona Knotts has made 308 shawls and hasn't stopped yet.
"It's such a comfort," said Connie Wallace. "The Lord is there with you."
Each shawl gets a card and prayer attached to the package.
The women have also been knitting 12-inch by 12-inch prayer squares and sending them to service people to carry in their pockets. Everything is blessed by Rev. Netznik.
Recently a cancer victim from Nesquehoning was hand-delivered a shawl and was overwhelmed by the gesture.
A prayer enclosed with the shawl reads:
God Keeps You in His Care
Gentle thoughts go out to you, to warm your heart and bless you, too.
A prayer goes up to God above, That He'll surround you with his love.
This Prayer Shawl was made especially for you with love and prayers. It is a gift from Grace-St. Paul United Methodist Church.
We gathered together to bless this shawl and have it anointed with Holy Water by Pastor Michael Netznik.
May you discover comfort and solace as you wear it. May it encircle you with God's love and peace Now and Always!
Given to you in Christian Love.