Church of the Nazarene ladies prayer

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jane Bailey, JoAnn Burquez and Heidee Vansant share time together making prayer shawls. (Contributed)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

The Columbiana Church of the Nazarene Women’s Ministry Prayer Shawl Project is one with which I have been personally blessed.

When Heidee VanSant presented me with a beautifully crocheted shawl, I had no idea what the occasion might be. It was not my birthday or any major holiday.

When she handed it to me she simply said, “Just wanted you to know that we’ve been praying for you since the loss of your husband.” It was a random act of kindness to say the least.

The note enclosed said, “Lord Jesus, please bless the person who is to receive this shawl. Wrap her in the warm comfort of your love. Help her to realize that through your sufferings on this earth, you can understand her sufferings as well. Help this person to feel wrapped in your support, strength and love whenever this shawl is worn . . .”

One such story was of a little girl who lost her home in the April tornadoes and was frightened and scared to leave her grandmother’s side. When her grandmother was given one of the prayer shawls, the little girl asked what it was.

When her grandmother explained, she wrapped herself in it every night when she went to bed and continues to do so.

The women’s group started this project unofficially seven years ago when they started studying by A Knitting Bible Study by Terry Ann Porter. This past year, they got really serious about it.

They have given away approximately 60 prayer shawls this year. They meet the first Sunday of each month at their church from 5-7 p.m. to study the Bible, pray and make prayer shawls.

Among their members are: JoAnn Burquez, Jane Bailey, Heidee Vansant, Linda O’Donnell, Joyce Tidmore and Helen Tucker.

They have a couple of other ladies of other denominations who join them. They welcome anyone who would like to attend.

Their favorite Bible verse is found in Proverbs 31:13.

“She shops for the best yarns and enjoys knitting,” (and crocheting too) according to Heidee.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at