GRAFTON—One local church has been spreading their blessing through a special ministry and has decided to branch out with a special July First Friday event.
The Church of the Good Shepherd has been creating prayer blankets for sick individuals within the congregation, or those family and friends of congregation members, for over ten years now, and the church decided they would like to host an event to let community members get involved.
“The whole idea started when the mother of one of our members was sick and was in need of comfort,” shared Carla Powell. “It really bothered me that she was in need of comfort, so myself and Shirley Shay came up with the idea of creating a prayer blanket for her.”
The idea took off and now the ladies can be found making the special blankets frequently.
“When we have a member of the congregation that is sick, or someone close to them, we receive word and the prayer blanket ministry gets to work on a blanket,” shared Pastor Matthew Dotson.
He revealed that strips are cut in the edges of pieces of fleece. Members of the church are then invited to come and tie a knot with the pieces, connecting the two flanks of fleece together.
“As each knot is made, the church member says a prayer over the blanket for the intended recipient,” Dotson noted. “Each knot symbolizes a prayer and the love and care we have for one another.”
Powell shared that she had hear of prayer shawls being made for sick individuals, but that she wanted to do something to get more people involved and more prayers sent to the sick.
“Usually when a shawl is made, it is only one person making it. With the blankets, multiple people can come up and tie a knot and pray over it,” she explained.
After a blanket is finished, she embroiders the church’s name onto it, along with a cross. The blanket is then delivered to its recipient, and they can take comfort as they wrap themselves in the healing prayers sent from the congregation that helped create it.
This evening during Grafton’s July First Friday events, the Church of the Good Shepherd will be set up downtown, expanding their ministry.
“We are encouraging community members to stop by our booth to help tie knots in the blankets as they pray over them,” Dotson said. “The finished blankets will then be delivered to the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Administration Medical Center, in Clarksburg.”
Powell shared that the group held a meeting on the heels of the Memorial Day holiday and decided that they would like to do something special for the men and women who risked their lives to defend the freedoms of the country.
“We thought that it would be a nice gesture to complete blankets for the veterans there,” she said.
Dotson added that the congregation contains numerous veterans, and they have contact with some of those at the VA hospital, so they thought it a fitting tribute.
For more information about the prayer blanket ministry, please contact the Church of the Good Shepherd at 304-265-1705.