Over six months ago I started a Prayer Shawl Group at my church, the United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz. Since then the group has come together every few weeks to create shawls and other prayerful objects to be given to people in our community to provide comfort to those in need.
The first blessing ceremony for the shawls that my group has made took place Sunday June 26th. At the end of service the Pastor introduced the group, I gave a shpeal, and then he said the blessing while we held our shawls. It was nerve-wracking... public speaking always has an uncontrollable effect on me. I swear I'm shaking the minute I wake up on the mornings I have to talk in front of the congregation. But overall I think it went very well, my constituents are happy and it attracted some new attention, so I think I can judge the ceremony a success.
The group is made up of about 12-14 ladies, some of whom have never knit before, some who used to knit, and a couple who don't need much direction on my part at all. I worked around their schedules and held meetings at various times, since there was half the group that would not be able to attend daytime meetings and the other half that could not attend evening ones. As a result I have gotten to spend a lot of more individualized time with each of the members.
This has been a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know these members of the congregation, as well as work on my teaching of basic knitting skills. After having been the Sunday School teacher for three years, mostly everyone knows my name but in many cases that's all they know about me, so I am thankful to have an excuse to spend a good chunk of time with the adults.