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Mary's Musings: Stitch and Pray so much more than a pillow

By Mary Bridges, chaplain

Our Stitch and Pray ministry project is in need of volunteers—cutters and sewers as well as fringers, knotters and stuffers. Please read our story and consider what you might be able to do to assist us in the coming year. For more information, contact Chaplain Mary.

Dear members of the Stitch and Pray Group,

We thank you for the lovely prayer pillows that you made and gave to us. Gerry received the pillow in April—just before his first radiation treatment (he shared his pillow with me, as I had cataract surgeries and sciatica).

These pillows are very comfortable, and we have definitely felt your prayers as we used them. Gerry did very well during his treatments, and we know that the prayers carried him.

A beautiful light blue pillow was sitting by our front doors as we returned from a trip last week. I definitely needed the prayers, as I had a second shot (in my back) yesterday.

We ask God to bless each one of you for this caring ministry—you have blessed our lives. With love and thanks,

Sue and Gerry Untz, Lindsborg

About 10 years ago at a Women’s Retreat, I was introduced to Prayer Pillows. I call them ‘Funky Heart Pillows’. We began making them here at Presbyterian Manor in 2012. Regrettably, I didn’t keep an accurate count of the pillows we have made, but a conservative estimate would be more than 2,000 pillows.

In addition to our “Prayer Pillows,” we make small underarm heart pillows that are given to the Tammy Walker Cancer Center, and smaller heart pillows that are given to new employees and to people receiving Hospice care. We’ve also given a number of pillows to the “Wellness Totes Project.”

The pillows support many sore body parts, and the prayers that are sent with them can bring the recipient a sense of peace and comfort.

When I first started the group, we had no budget and few volunteers helping, so we were limited in the number of pillows we could make. These pillows were given to hospitalized residents.

As we were given a budget and had more volunteers, we were able to increase our pillow production. Soon, we were able to give them to those who came to our PATH program. We have enough to give to all our residents. We also give them to family members, friends and staff.

I often say that it takes a village to make a pillow. One volunteer had arthritis so bad the only thing she could do was tie knots. We also have cutters, sewers, fringers and stuffers. People who have vision problems make great stuffers, as they can feel exactly how much Poly-fil is needed in each pillow.

Over the years, we have had a faithful group of women (residents as well as volunteers) who gather each week to make pillows and share some caffeine and conversation. We have shared our concerns and we have laughed together which has created some very caring friendships.

I am eternally grateful for the faithful women who have made this project possible. Donations of fleece, Poly-fil, or new scissors are also very much appreciated.

I’d like to close with a copy of the card that accompanies each of our pillows:

Each of the stitches in this gift are a symbol of the prayers that we have put into it. Our prayer is that this small token of our love will be a source of comfort and peace in good times as well as difficult ones. May God’s arms cradle you in hope, keep you in joy, grace you with peace, and wrap you in love.

Stitch and Pray Group of Salina Presbyterian Manor

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