Sending Troops Prayers Ministry

Thank-you Letters from the Chaplains and Troops

These letters are from the Chaplains we send the shawls and cloths to. And the Troops who recieve them. Names and addresses are not revealed because for the security and privacy of our Troops. We dont expect thank-you's from the troops and are honored to get them when we do!




March 6 2008
Hi,

Good day to you !

Our XXXX XXXX is at the completion of our 15 month deployment to Iraq. It has been a joy to have you beside us all through this deployment. The sacrifices you made in order to keep me and my Soldiers live through this long arduous times has been remarkable which I will cherish all through my life. I take this opportunity to thank you, your family and friends for taking care of our needs. Thank you for what you did even though you didn’t have to. Thank you for helping us get through this long deployment with a smile by sending us things that kept our morale high. Words won’t seem sufficient if I try to enumerate the effects, your sharing has had on us and I appreciate all that you have been to me and my Soldiers. I hope you’ll continue to pray for me, for my Soldiers and their Families. Thanks a million for everything.

May the Lord bless you, and keep you;
May the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you
peace."[Numbers 6:22-27]
Wish you and your Family a Joyous Easter !
God Bless,
Chaplain XXX

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March 1 2008

Hi, I just wanted to say thank you all for the prayer cloths! We appreciate the time, effort, support and prayers. Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you and God Bless, SGT XXXXX XXXXXXXXX

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Dec. 18, 2006
Thank you for the beautiful prayer shawl and the prayer bunnies for my children. It was a lovely surprise. I appreciate the prayers while my husband is serving in Iraq. Also, thank you for the pocket prayer cloth for my husband which I am sending to him right away. Sincerely, XXXXX XXXX

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Dec. 2, 2006
Hello! I would like to thank you for the pocket prayer cloths that you sent to me. I took some over to the hospital and gave them to the troops there that was injured. It cheered them up that someone was praying and took the time to make these prayer cloths for them. Thank you for your ministry, it is appreciated. May God Bless You! XXXXX XXXXXXXXX

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June 30, 2006

Hi. This is U.S. Army Chaplain XXXXXX calling from XXXXX Chapel in Iraq. Thank you for your kind gift of prayer cloths. They are the perfect gift. Thank-you. We do appreciate your thinking of us and your support of our mission. We appreciate your supporting our ministry to soldiers so far from home. God Bless you and your family and all the good people within your ministry.
Sincerely Yours,
Chaplain XXXXXX

The Praying Hands: Back in the fifteenth century, in a village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table the father, a goldsmith, worked eighteen hours a day and any other paying chore he could find. Depite their hopeless conidition, two of Albrecht Durer's children had a dream. Both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but knew full well their father would never be able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy. The boys worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the mines and, with his earnings would support his brother while he attended the academy. After four years, they would then trade places. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg. Albert went down into the dangerous mines an for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, woodcuts and oils were masterworks of beauty and perfection. When the Albrecht returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner to celebrate his triumphant homecoming. Albrecht rose and said, "Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will take care of you." Albert, tears streaming down his pale face, sobbed and repeated over and over, "No...no...no...no." "no, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look, look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly I cannot even hold a glass. No, brother...for me it is too late." More than 450 years have passed. Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterpieces hang in every great museum in the world. But the odds are great that you are familiar with only one of Albrecht Duruer's works. To pay homage to Albert for all he sacrificed, Albrecht Durer drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing "Hands",but the entire world opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "the praying hands". Take a second look. No one, ever, makes it alone!

***************************************************************** Department of the Army - Iraq

Chaplain's Office

June 18 2006

Sending Troops Prayers:

I would like to take the opportunity to say thank-you for the generous donation that you made recently to our hospital. The sacrifices that you make to go the extra mile to make our Soldiers to have something from home boosts their morale on a daily basis. The support that you provide to us and our patients shows the compassion and generosity of the American People. The donations of the wonderful comfort items from home are timely. The prayer cloths and shawls will be handed out to Our Soldiers. The support that you provide contributes to the success of the XXXX Combat Support Hospital while we are deployed in Iraq. We salute you and your wonderful patriotism that you have extended and shown to the people that you will probably never meet. Without the support and contributions from you there would be a gap that would go unmet and the Soldiers and patients would be lacking.

Sincerely,

Chaplain XXXXXX X XXXXXXXX

Chaplain XXXXXXX X XXXXXX

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Department of the Army- Iraq

Chaplain's Office

May 18 2006

Dear Sending Troops Prayers,

I would like to take the oppurtunity to say thank you for the generous donation that you made recently to our hospital. The support that you provide to us and our patients shows the compassion and generousity of the American People. The time and money you invest in us will not go to waste. Every effort will be made to distribute items to everyone in need and those that would benefit the most.

Your gifts remind us of the support we have back home from the American People and that picks up the spirits of our soldiers and patients. We are very grateful for the items you sent. The support that you provide contributes to the success of the XXXX Combat Support Hospital. Enjoy your freedom and keep us in your prayers. God Bless.

Sincerely,

XXXXXX X XXXXXXXX

XXXXXX X XXXXX

April 4 2006

Dear Sending Troops Prayers-

Thank you so much for the prayer cloth--I'm in XXXXXXXX and it's hanging right by where I work--It's comforting to have you praying for me.

In His Name,

Maj. XXXXXX XXXXX

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NEWSPAPER ARTICLES




Knitting coming back into vogue, into prayer life
The Catholic Times
Issue February 11, 2007
By Tim Puet

Women in at least two parishes in the Columbus Diocese have started ministries dedicated to comforting people in both a material and spiritual way through the prayerful creation of shawls. They’re part of a national movement which started in Connecticut in 1998 and has expanded nationwide through the web site shawlministry.com.

Sandra Walsh of New Albany Church of the Resurrection began a shawl-making group in January. It attracted eight people at its first meeting. The group plans to meet on the fourth Wednesday and fourth Saturday of each month at the church’s ministry center.

Tish Hoar of Mount Vernon St. Vincent De Paul Church wanted to start a similar group about a year ago, didn’t receive any responses when she contacted Knox County churches about it, but went on the internet and is coordinating a group of more than 90 knitters in America and Canada, one in Scotland.

Hoar said each shawl represents “ Jesus’ arms and our prayers around the person” receiving it.

Besides making shawls, the group, known as Sending Troops Prayers also knits prayer cloths, pillowcases and drawstring bags that have been requested by military chaplains.

Hoar, who has four children and works part-time, said the group has made over 200 shawls and 5,000 prayer cloths. She has crocheted for 15 years and made about 45 shawls and hundreds of cloths in that time.

“The most memorable shawl I have done was for a woman that was in a coma and come out of it having to learn basic life skills from scratch, “ she said.

“I got a thank you card from her which looked like a child had written it, but what was important that she had taken the time to go through what obviously wasn’t easy for her just to say how she appreciated the shawl.

“The most special thing about making the shawls is just that you are praying for the person while you make them.” To have someone out there praying for you, giving you something to hold onto, has to be a great thing for anyone in need,” she said.

Walsh, a retired nurse, said she has knitted and crocheted on and off for more than 50 years and has no idea how many shawls she has completed.

Her group is also considering making prayer cloths for her church’s prison ministry as well as scarves for college students.

Walsh learned of the shawl ministry when liturgical artist Linda Hall of Stony Brook United Methodist Church spoke about it at Resurrection’s Young At Heart meeting.

“Making the shawls is something concrete you can do with the power of prayer, and it can be done with time as you have time,” Walsh said.

“The purpose of our shawl ministry group and others like it is literally to wrap people in prayer. Whenever we start a meeting or begin making a shawl, we will begin with prayers and blessings for the recipient. By the time the shawl is completed, it will be filled with prayers for the individual for it whom it is being made. We’ll also keep a piece of each shawl we make and tie it to our knitting needles as a sign that we are continuing to pray for someone.”

She said no knowledge of knitting or crocheting isn’t necessary for anyone who would like to join her group, because it’s members would be delighted to share their experience.

She said there is also seems to be an emerging trend for young people to take up many of the crafts that have been part of their parents’ and grandparents’ lives. Hall said that at Stony Brook many other churches, people donate yarn so those who are homebound because of illness or other reasons can take part in the program, making the shawls a connection to the world beyond their living quarters.

The website said prayer shawls are thoughtful gifts for many occasions. They are particularly appropriate for people undergoing or recovering from medical procedures, or need comfort for a loss or in times of stress.

The shawl ministry which Walsh and Hoar are involved was started in 1998 by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo of Hartford, Conn. , area.

Bristow said that the ministry has been embraced worldwide by many denominations and there’s no telling how many people it has effected.

“Seeing as how we never meant for all of this to happen, we know that it is spirit driven, “ she said. “ It never ceases to amaze me how readily it is embraced. The bottom line is that a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice for the shawl maker. it is made in prayer, as prayer, for prayer as an unconditional gift symbolizing care, compassion and love.

“The blessings flow in all directions, like God’s love for us,” she said.

The shawls on her website are made from the same basic pattern, using what’s known to knitter’s as the “three-stitch seed” or “knit-three, purl three” technique.

The site says this is in honor of the symbolism of the trinity for Christians of the number 3 for Jews, Hindus, Taoists and Buddhists.

It also can symbolize other groups of three such as birth, life and death; body, mind and spirit; mother, father and child; past, present and future; earth, sea and sky; and the primary colors of red, yellow and blue.

In addition to the Connecticut based program, a Scranton, PA., woman who has sent many years as a religious educator is offering a variety of shawl patterns themed to Catholic feasts.

Trinity shawls, owned by Susan Parker, has pattern booklets also available for shawls designed for the Marian feasts of the Annunciation (March 25), the Visitation (May 31) and the Nativity (Dec. 25).

The Knit-to-Pray line of kits includes instructions for knitting and praying, along with Scripture quotations, references and reflection questions.

“I really starting thinking about his idea of the shawls about a year-and-a-half ago.” Harker said.

“I’d been involved in several other ministries, but brought them to closure because this is where God seems to have led me now.”

She said the shawls are a good way of bringing people to prayer in an age when it’s hard to be contemplative.

“They allow people to use the natural skills of knitting to quiet their minds and reflect on Scripture,” she said.

“Its not easy to pray these days with all the information that’s out there on the Internet and no television, but making shawls seems to be a good method of freeing the mind and quieting the body,” she said.

Trinity Shawls began this past August. ...contact information....

Wrapping love around those in need

By Kimberly Orsborn, News Staff Writer
Friday, September 15, 2006

MOUNT VERNON — Tish Hoar of Mount Vernon is a woman on a mission.

The mother of four, employed part-time and a member of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, spends much of her spare time wrapping people she has never met in prayer and love.

After participating in a related Yahoo group on the Internet, in March, Hoar founded her own branch of the Prayerfully Yours Prayer Cloth Ministry and a related one called Sending Troops Prayers to make prayer shawls and cloths and disburse them. She contacted Knox County churches about her ministry but got no response, so “I decided on the Internet. We started with a handful of people and now we are up to 76. They are all over America and Canada, with one in Scotland. In my group there is every single Christian religion. It doesn’t stop at any one denomination. We all believe in one God and in the strength of prayer.” The closest of her group’s crafters to Mount Vernon are in Newark and Walhonding. One crafter in Pennsylvania, reports Hoar, is “completely blind but looms beautiful things. Some have arthritis but they can still loom. Some are disabled or homebound.” Hoar is the coordinator, taking e-mailed requests for cloths and shawls, finding an available crafter, receiving the finished item and sending it off to the receiver.

The use of prayer cloths and shawls, Hoar explains, is based on Acts 19:11-12: “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” She said, “The shawl represents Jesus’ arms and our prayers around the person” who receives it. Both shawls and cloths are “something tangible somebody can hold on to,” a way for the recipient to see and feel grace, love, peace and the prayers of others.

The modern-day idea of cloth imbued with prayer comes from the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Their Web site at www.shawlministry.com explains that Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo graduated from the Women’s Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn., and the idea grew out of their participation in the program of applied Feminist Spirituality. Their “prayerful ministry” and spiritual practice, founded in 1998, combines compassion for others with a love of needle arts. As the crafter begins to make the shawl or cloth, a prayer is said to dedicate the work. Some light a candle or play soft music to enhance the prayerfulness of the process. Knitters use a three-stitch method to symbolize Father, Son and Holy Ghost or faith, hope and love. Prayers continue as the work progresses. Some crafters, said Hoar, stitch charms or beads to the item. When finished, more prayers are said over it before it is sent to the receiver; some crafters ask their pastor or priest to bless the item. A prayer shawl is never to be sold, although donations to purchase more materials can be accepted by the crafter. The colors chosen have different meanings: pink for breast cancer, blue for healing, white for a baby being baptized, camouflage or muted colors for soldiers on the front lines. “There are no rules,” said Hoar, “except to pray.”

Shawls offer comfort and warmth when wrapped around the shoulders and arms of an ill or anxious person. But what if a shawl is not practical, such as while one is in combat in Iraq? Hoar’s Sending Troops Prayers ministry makes pocket prayer cloths, about 3-by-5 inches (exact sizes don’t matter), in camouflage colors, that soldiers can carry in a pocket or tuck inside a helmet. Military insignias for every branch of the armed forces are incorporated when the cloth is being sent to specific branches. Some crafters make them in the shape of angels or incorporate a cross into the design. Hoar’s group also makes colorful cloth pillow cases for a combat support hospital in Iraq and drawstring bags for helicopter transport of records and X-rays. The military chaplains who receive these also pray over them. Hoar has made 40 prayer shawls and more than 300 prayer cloths. She has crocheted for 15 years.

“As a group,” she said, “we have made more than 1,500 pocket prayer cloths and sent them to Iraq. And more than 100 shawls have been made for Iraq.” Sometimes Hoar receives thank-you notes.

“When I put a prayer shawl around me, I can feel the love of my precious Father holding me,” wrote a 73-year-old widow who lives alone and struggles with health problems. Hoar sent identical prayer cloths to a mother in Wisconsin and a daughter in New York, as a way of keeping them connected. The mother wrote, “I truly love it and appreciate that you sent one just like it to my daughter. Being so far away is difficult.” An Army chaplain serving with Operation Iraqi Freedom wrote, “Every gift we have received has helped us endure some catastrophic highs and lows during this war.” The group has made shawls and cloths for the homeless, for nursing homes and baby nurseries, hospice centers, amputee centers and hospitals, West Virginia churches dealing with the recent coal mine tragedies, and for people living in Israel, England and Australia. But, said Hoar, “We don’t expect thank-yous. We do this because we love to do it. But when we get thank-yous, it reminds us why we do this.”

http://www.mountvernonnews.com/local/06/09/15/wrapping.love.html

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