The giving of comfort items is a centuries-old tradition in communities of worship. Our Shawl Ministry program started in 2008, with a goal of providing our members with hand-made shawls, lap robes, and quilts during times of challenging life experiences such as illness, hospitalization, and loss. This “Hand to Hand, Heart to Heart” ministry nurtures the social and spiritual bonds within our ever-growing congregation. Comfort items are often given by the clergy and Lay Ministers as they provide pastoral care to people during times of need. In 2009, we began to offer a blanket or quilt for each child who was dedicated at First Unitarian Society.
Whether on their own or in small groups, members of the Shawl Ministry lovingly create these representations of our love and care. What distinguishes Shawl Ministry is the spirit of intentionality that goes into each item that is created. We may or may not know who will receive the shawl or blanket that we are making, but people are encouraged to “weave” in thoughts of comfort or connection. In this way, every item symbolizes the caring not just of the person who created it, but of the whole congregation.