Union Presbyterian Church

Prayer Shawl Ministry

“For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works!”

– Psalm 139:13-14


As Christ prays for us, so too, we pray for one another.
The prayer shawl ministry of Union Presbyterian Church is a visible symbol of the active prayer life of our church family. The shawls not only provide warmth and comfort, but they represent the prayers, hope, and love of the UPC family which are wrapped around the recipient.  Some uses for our prayer shawls include comfort for those undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss; during bereavement; during an illness and recovery; for a pregnancy and a new baby; in prayerful meditation; as a bridal shower gift; for a rite of passage… the possibilities are endless. The Union Church Prayer Shawl Creators group is open to all levels and interests of needle artists.  It is a ministry of the Deacons of UPC. Meeting times vary.

Contact 608-325-2519 for more information.

Hands on Prayer Shawls


The History of the Prayer Shawl Ministry:

In 1998, Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, two graduates of the 1997 Women’s Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut gave birth to a ministry as a result

of their experience in this program of applied Feminist Spirituality under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS.

Care and the love of knitting (and crochet) have been combined into prayerful ministry that reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. Many blessings are knitted into every shawl. The knitter begins each shawl with prayers for the recipient. Intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. When the shawl is completed, it is offered a final ritual before being sent along its way.

As this gift has been sent along, some recipients have continued the kindness by making one themselves and passing it onto someone in need. Thus, the blessing is rippled from person to person, with both the giver and receiver feeling the unconditional embrace of a sheltering, mothering God!


“Shawls…made for centuries universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving God.  The wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter, and beautify.  Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles.”

   – Janet Bristow, 1998.