Galilee Graduation Scarves

June 14, 2018

This Sunday, Galilee’s Family Ministry hosted a special breakfast for graduates. Elementary school, high school, and college graduates were represented. 

“In Family Ministry,” said director Pam Bentley, “we think a lot about the phases which take us from newborn to toddler age, from preschool to pre-teen, and onward. Each phase might seem eternal. But it’s not. Time moves on. A new phase begins.”

“The beauty of graduation is that it clearly marks the boundary between two phases. Our graduates pause at the end of a familiar stage to enter into unchartered territory filled with opportunities. In this phase, the child—no, the youth—suddenly has control over what happens next. It’s exciting, and daunting.”

That’s especially true with high school graduates.

2018 high school graduates, or their representatives.

To see our eleven high school grads off in style, six Galilee women—Deb Alberth, Emilie Beckelhimer, Linda Flynn, Lori Frank, Jill Russo, and Carmen Smith—gave them personalized, hand-knit scarves. The scarves were knit in the color of universities or just the favorite color of the grad.

As each scarf was adorned with a special message:

“When I made this scarf, I prayed for God to bless you, to help you stay true to your dreams, to use your gifts wisely, and to walk into the future with faith and hope. May the warmth of this scarf remind you of the love, strength and peace from God that surrounds you always.”

Scarves in many colors.

As often happens when serving, it’s the volunteers who got as much out of the project as the recipients. The volunteers come from our Prayer Shawl Ministry of knitters and crocheters.

“I have been with the Prayer Shawl Ministry for three years and am delighted to know that our efforts bring comfort and happiness to others,” says Deb Alberth. “I have been knitting since age ten and it brings satisfaction to my desire to serve Christ.”

Linda Flynn agrees. “I love this group and feel blessed to be a part of it. I have been crocheting for many years. My aunt taught me in my early 20s. But I’m always learning new things. Emilie shared new stitches for these scarves and I  shared one with her. She and Carmen do beautiful work!”

You don’t have to have great skills to join the group. Jill Russo didn’t:

“I came to the group with minimal experience,” she says. “I wanted to learn to crochet to have projects to do with my daughter, Rebecca. I learned, and still do, from Carmen and Emilie. I am still “green” at making some items, but enjoy seeing what the others create for church members and friends. I haven’t taught anyone a new stitch yet, and as Rebecca does more crocheting than I do she continues to be my teacher at home!”

Jill says, “I like creating colorful objects with a purpose (to comfort others). My prayer as I worked was that our graduates listen to their inner voice when dealing with uncertain situations. Faith is hard to see at times because so much beyond ourselves can be overwhelming. As much as I would like to never be stressed by external factors, I am. So I find scripture and being with those who support me strengthens that inner voice to carry and share my faith.”

Emilie Beckelhimer says that she and Carmen Smith have been partners in needle crime since the beginning. 

“Our current group started in February of 2012.  I had just been through a devastating family crisis and thought it would help me feel better to do something positive for someone else who is struggling. It was great to find a knitter like Carmen. Our main project, prayer shawls, are like a warm hug from God – and lets the recipient know that someone is praying for them.”

“A friend in high school taught me to crochet simple things like blankets.  I have learned all types of new patterns and become more confident in my abilities with this group. I even made a tank top, which seemed impossible just a few years ago.”

“It was wonderful to oversee the creation of these eleven scarves by my friends. Certainly, all of us pray that the recipients work hard in school and persevere through any trials along the way – and that they enjoy this time in their lives and know that people at Galilee love and support them.”