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Wellspring Church members gather for fellowship, knitting, crocheting

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Marilyn Forbes | For The Independent-Observer
Showing off some of their lovely finished shawls are, from left: Joyce Prutz, Elaine Kucik, Joan McCann, and Betty Shipley.

Carrying many names such as prayer shawls, comfort shawls or peace shawls, handmade shawls that are knitted or crocheted have offered comfort and security to people who are ill, new mothers or simply given to those who need a little special extra love.

For the past month, a group at the Wellspring Church in Scottdale has been gathering together every week for fellowship, knitting and crocheting and fun as they create lovely prayer shawls that will then be distributed to those who can use the comfort and security that only a warm wrap can provide.

“I have been doing this at the Y for many years,” said Joyce Prutz, Wellspring church member and Prayer Shawl Ministry group organizer, of the making of the special shawls. “A group there wanted to learn how to knit and crochet and then when they learned it was ‘Well what do we do now?' That was when we started to make them along with hats and scarves for others in need.”

Prutz, of Mt. Pleasant Township, thought a prayer-shawl ministry group would be a fun idea plus a way to get the shawls made and out into the hands of those who could benefit from them the most.

“They are made to wrap around you for comfort, while also giving you a nice sense of security,” Prutz said. “Each time we work on them, we say a prayer. They are for healing and comfort. These are given to someone who is undergoing something like chemotherapy, or suffering from an illness or even someone who just had a new baby. When someone receives one of these, they know you care.”

A group is already meeting weekly and Prutz encourages anyone from the community to join them.

“We will teach you how to make them,” Prutz said. “They can be knitted or crocheted. This is great for people who are looking for something to do to keep them occupied, for someone who loves to knit or crochet, or just even someone who is looking for something nice to do for others.”

The group meets at the Wellspring church at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

“I want to be a blessing,” Joan McCann of Scottdale said. “This is a lot of fun and it's nice to be able to be a blessing while having fun.”

Elaine Kucik of Scottdale said she has knitted for many years and was happy to be able to apply her work to something worthy.

“I have been knitting and crocheting for a very long time and this is for a good cause,” Kucik said. “I am all about doing things for a good cause.”

Betty Shipley said she joined the group because she saw first hand the comfort that a prayer shawl can give.

“My mother (Mable Daniels) had one and I saw much hers meant to her,” Shipley said of her mother who had one when she was in a care facility. “It really meant a lot to her and I wanted to be able to give that comfort to someone else. That is why I am a part of this.”

The group invites everyone at any level of knitting or crocheting to join.

For information on the groups or the shawls, call 724-220-5240 or email

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.