A Ministry of Comfort for the Grieving

If you knit or crochet and participate in a Prayer Shawl Ministry, you can spread the graces of this specialized ministry internationally. Your modest contribution can support the mission of Ruling Elder Darlene Tapie of the First Presbyterian Church of Blairstown who launched this ministry internationally.  It has expanded in the past four years by her services offered within the Newton-Nairobi Partnership.

Visiting our Kenyan mission partners initially in 2015, Darlene introduced Women Guild groups of several congregations to the concept of Prayer Shawl Ministry, which has provided her and thousands of U.S. women a channel for contributing the skill of their hands to the healing of broken hearts and spirits. Hearing Kenyans’ expressed desire to learn more and develop greater skills in knitting and crocheting, Darlene returned self-funded in 2017, introducing more congregations in Nairobi, women in rural Kibwezi, and even some young boys to learning the skills and launching their own Prayer Shawl Ministries and she is returning in July-August, 2018, her travel being funded this trip by an “angel.”


Darlene presents a shawl to Mrs. Fridah Mugambi, recovering from illness, at a Women Guild meeting in Chogoria, Kenya, June 2017.

The ministry’s goal is to provide an encouraging support network of prayer for persons and households dealing with serious illness, grief or other prolonged challenges to the human spirit, with the suffering person(s) presented a knitted/crocheted shawl created by a group of women who assure the recipient(s) they will be remembering them daily in prayer. When a Prayer Shawl is given to someone it is an absolute GIFT without anything required from the recipient – no money, no requirement to come to church, no further contact unless the recipient initiates it.

It costs about KSh 1000 ($10) to purchase needles and yarn in Kenya for supplying each individual with the materials needed to begin learning and producing her/his first piece. Darlene would welcome your contribution to assist Kenyan women to make the purchase of materials more manageable for those with minimal income. On the home page of Newton Presbytery’s website, click the “Online Giving” button to make your contribution.

Get those needles clicking and clacking!