Monday, June 25, 2012


Friday is Bear's last day "on the job" at Knox Church. I'm leading worship in another congregation next Sunday, then I'm on holidays. Perhaps permanently. 

(Remember; I already have a full-time job, called Retirement. The work at Knox has been sidebar.)

But more likely not permanent holidays just yet; too many people know where I live. But I'll set that notion aside for a few moments

As a parting gift during yesterday morning's worship, the Health and Wellness Committee (on behalf of the congregation) gave me a Prayer Shawl. Others received these as well, but mine had a double purpose.

I did some more detailed checking on these. (Old reporting habits never quit.) And if found some great information.

Prayer Shawl draped over back of chair
Shawls can be used for: undergoing medical procedures; as a comfort after a loss or in times of stress; during bereavement; prayer or meditation; commitment or marriage ceremonies; birthing, nursing a baby; bridal shower or wedding gift; leading ritual; first menses or croning rites of passage; during an illness and recovery; ministering to others; graduation, birthday, anniversary, ordination, holiday gifts; or just socializing...there are endless possibilities!  

People know that I have had health problems.  I don't hide that at all. So getting the shawl was, as I said, a double purpose event.

I really do not know what will happen next. But God is good (in spite of all the mess life can bring), and life is fascinating. So I'll just wait to see what happens. 

Blessings and Bear hugs, friends.


The Bipolar Diva said...

Congratulations! And yes, God is good.

kj said...

I like e every word you've said, rob. You have an honest view of the world and you don't lose the wonder of it. You are a good man, mr rob bear . I hope you use that shawl for protection and comfort in good times and not so good times

I can't tell if you want this assignment to end. I think you're trusting destiny on that one


Chatty Crone said...

I will hope and pray that God will guide you - in a great direction. I know he will.

At our church they make prayer blankets and when someone is sick they bring them one - it is extremely comforting.

I am sure everyone will miss you and come visiting you!


betty said...

What a great parting gift! I'm sure God will lead you and direct you in whatever step he wants you to take next, even if it is just being still and waiting and perhaps even resting a bit ;)


Rob-bear said...

® The Bipolar Diva: Thanks. Hope things are good for you.

® kj: Whether my serving ends or continues, I win. So it doesn't really matter.
Thank you for your kind words.

® Chatty Crone: Shawls or blankets, the process sounds similar. A great way to care for people!
I may not be gone yet, so they may not miss me yet.

® That corgi :): It was, indeed, a beautiful gift, Betty. As to what comes next, I'm just waiting to see. I feel very relaxed and confident, and quite happy with either of the two major option about our congregation. I'm in good hands.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Well, I'm not a religious sort of person but I hope it brings you the blessing you wish!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

What a nice gift! And amongst its many other talents, I'm sure the blanket would be extra snuggly on cool days whilst watching TV!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh! And enjoy your well earned time off!

That gentleman's lady said...

Shawls are very very comforting. I've had mine for aeons. I suppose it is a grown up version of a baby blanket.


And warmth.

Hugs Bear!

Kristy said...

What a lovely shaw. I hope you can go back to enjoying your retirement.

DJan said...

I didn't realize that I need a prayer shawl until I read this, so I think I'll find one and bless it, using it just as it's intended... but it's so much better to have received it like you have, as a gift showing appreciation. :-)

Laura said...

I love Prayer (or Friendship) Shawls! They are such an amazing gift to receive AND give! I've had the absolute pleasure of making a few myself.
Right now, I'm busy making ruffle scarves for Christmas Sales! After I've done a few more, I may start up on the shawls again.

Enjoy your time off!


Frances said...

Bear, your congregation has given you a wonderful symbol of their appreciation. I am sure that you have been a comforter to many of those folks, too.

As always, best wishes. xo

Jackie said...

The gift is reflective of you, Rob. You have brought comfort and warmth to those who you have encountered. It's a splendid gift...and reminder to you that your commitment to the service of our Lord has ministered to others. As you wind up your service with Knox, I feel in my heart that you will be missed there. Take care of you as you continue to walk with Him.
Hugs and love,

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

You have a great outlook, Bear, and I await the news of your next adventure (since you were successful in NOT falling into the river!). God is good and the prayer shawls are wonderful, a gift made with love.


ReformingGeek said...

I won't be able to show that photo to the cat. He will want to leave his pretty white hair all over it.

Blessings as you continue your journey!

Rob-bear said...

® J Cosmo Newbery: Thanks very much for your kindness.

® Cathy Olliffe-Webster: Not sure it is a tv kind of shawl. Besides, I watch so little that it would hardly get used for that.
This Friday, I get to clean out the desk I have been using, and turn in my keys. I will await further "developments" (like a photographer in a dark room).

® That gentleman's lady: Thanks for sharing a bit of your shawl story. I expect to get great enjoyment from it.

Rob-bear said...

® Kristy: I intend to relax and enjoy this summer.

® DJan: Well, now you know. I hope you find a suitable one. But it would be nicer if your received one.

® Laura: Oh, yes! We have a tradition, albeit a short one, of making and giving these to people as a way of showing them our care for the. I so appreciate getting mine. I hope you have a wonderful time making shawls for others.
Assuming that I'm having the summer "off," I expect to thoroughly enjoy it. And I hope it doesn't turn into an "off" summer.
And thanks for visiting my folks. That was very kind. And much appreciated.

® Frances: This is, indeed, a delightful gift. And a great reminder of my time serving our congregation.

Rob-bear said...

® Jackie: Thank you so much. It is, indeed, a wonderful reminder.
On the other hand, I'm not sure my time of serving the congregation is over. I have a strong feeling that I will be doing more in the fall. That is mixed news. While I enjoy serving the congregation, if I'm back it means Brian (our minister) is not well enough to return, and that makes me sad.

® Genie: Thanks. Now, as long as my next adventure doesn't turn out to be a misadventure, I'll be just fine. And if it's something else, I'll at least have a story to tell you!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

What a lovely gift! I have the pattern for knitting prayer shawls and made one once for my husband when he was going through a rough time.

Inger said...

I know you were appreciated there. That's a beautiful gift. I'm looking forward to finding out where your life will take you next.

Irene said...

I get the impression that this time serving the congreagtion has been good for you and that some more of it may not be a bad thing. At least you will have your prayer shawl if it were ever get too stressful, which I really don't think it will. xox

Hilary said...

It's a lovely and thoughtful gift. I suspect they knew you would understand its duo purpose. No doubt they will miss you tremendously.

lotta joy said...

Bear, if YOU were the minister at our church I would attend with a happy heart and sing in the dang choir for you. I imagine you'd allow some signs of joy during your service, unlike the ministers who have a carved ivory pole up their righteous...uh...nether regions.

I'm also playing with the idea of making prayer shawls for hospice down here. NOT out of the kindness of my heart, so don't get the wrong idea. It's just that NO ONE pays much attention to the REALLY old people down here.

susan said...

It's a beautiful shawl and a very lovely thank you gift. May the congregation stay together in even better thanks for your work.

Rob-bear said...

® KarenG: That's wonderful. Do you think you will make any more shawls?

® Inger: Beautiful it is, indeed. What's next? I don't know.

® Irene: This has been a good time. More of the same would be good, too.

® Hilary: It is a wonderful gift. But they won't miss me much; I'll just go back to sitting in my pew.

® lotta joy: Careful what you promise. You haven't heard me preach. But clapping your hands or shaking your tambourine would be just dandy.
And I love the thought of you making shawls for older folks there in God's waiting room.

® Susan: Thanks. The future will be exciting. I hope.

Talli Roland said...

It's a lovely shawl!

Diana said...

Perhaps your shawl can serve as a "Contemplation" shawl Bear.
I have crocheted two. I find them very comforting in the fall when the chill rolls in.
I wonder what God will have in store for you next?!
Love Di ♥

About Last Weekend said...

What a wonderful gift, it's warm beautiful and practical and loving and doesn't clutter the home. I'm sure you do your job so well you'll be out of retirement again before you know it! Take a nice rest in that chair before they come calling for you!

Anonymous said...

I think the shawl is a great gift but perhaps even more valuable is the appreciation for you and your services that it means to represent. God bless.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Ah gift to encourage warmth and health along with prayer. Surely that has a tripling effect:)

A Lady's Life said...

I hope you get better.
Congrats on your retirement.

I love shawls. They are multi purpose.
They wrap babies as well as adults and are great for sitting outdoors in the fall or curling up beside a fire with or even when taking a small nap.
Enjoy your shawl. :)

Natalie said...

Just popped in to say helllooooooo! I like your shawl, I think it's a wonderful idea.xx

Murr Brewster said...

Speaking of the mess that life can bring, you didn't get a shawl because of your first menses, did you?

Susie - Walking Butterfly said...

Congrats on a job well done and maybe not over just yet. I hope your holidays are refreshing and meaningful.
Today is my blog's 2 year Blogoversary and I gave you a tiny mention! Thanks for all the encouragement Rob-bear!

Amanda Summer said...

shawls, like veils, do seem to have magical properties. i love the different names - prayer shawl, peace shawl, comfort shawl - as with the photo of the woman embracing her child it does have a mothering, protective essence to it.

may it embrace you and give you comfort.

Rob-bear said...

® ReformingGeek: Don't be afraid to show the picture to the cat. The closest he can come to leaving white hair is on your computer screen. I don't mind that, Reffie.

® Talli Roland: Thanks so much for coming by and visiting. It is a wonderful shawl!

® Diana: Indeed, when the weather gets cooler, I will likely use it when I am meditating.
I have no idea of what comes next, other than a service I promised to lead at the end of August.
Life is interesting, and I'm ready for almost anything.

® About Last Weekend: It is a wonderful gift, indeed, Jody. Something I shall treasure. I'm planning to have a very relaxing summer. I have no plans for the fall.

® lgsquirrel: Thank you for coming by, and for leaving a wonderful thought.

® KleinsteMotte: Thank you. A wonderful triple effect indeed. I treasure tho gift.

® A Lady's Life: Shawls are multi-purpose, I expect. As I use it, I'll likely find more things for which I can use it or share it.

Rob-bear said...

® Natalie: I am so glad you stropped by. I have been wondering how you have been doing.
The shawl is wonderful.

® Murr Brewster: Quick answer is, uh, no. Haven't had the pleasure. Though I do enjoy the shawl.

® Recovering Church Lady: Second blogversary! Oh, wow! That is awesome. A few more years of writing, and you may get a Pulitzer prize. Best wishes. And thanks for the mention!

® Amanda: Thanks for your kind and reflective thoughts. I hope your writing is going well.

cheshire wife said...

I like the idea that retirement is a job!

Rob-bear said...

® Cheshire Wife: Well, I would say retirement is more than just a pastime. It does take some planning if it is to be done well. So I think that makes it an occupation. A job of sorts.