“We see a lot of people in grief. They haven’t processed it or worked through it yet,” said Chaplain Cynthia Patton.
As a result, Grace Ministries began hosting GriefShare meetings in April. The support group gathers weekly to watch videos and discuss the ongoing grief process.
The program also includes daily workbook-based learning.
For those clients who need a more tangible representation of love to get through the days ahead, the ministry offers prayer shawls.
Two local women, Sharon Jones and Donia Crump, have volunteered to crochet and pray over the shawls, which are distributed to new widows or anyone who has recently experienced the loss of a loved one.
Jones and Patton met through a Bible Study held several years ago in what is now the home of Grace Ministries.
Another woman in the group had lost her husband in a house fire.
“She was just clothed in grief. When we put that shawl around her, it just ministered to her. You could feel her confidence in God return,” Patton said.
Approximately 35 prayer shawls have been distributed through the ministry.
Jones said she finds peace herself as she crochets, and the simple, repetitive pattern also allows her to pray for the recipient of the shawl as she is making it.
“I want to make one for everybody, but it’s not that simple,” Jones said.
Each shawl costs approximately $20 and two weeks to make.
Instructions are available at www.shawlministry.com. Grace Ministries is seeking volunteers to make the shawls as well as donations of material.
For information about GriefShare or the prayer shawl ministry, contact Patton at 471-2879.