Art lesson idea: Passing on the Mantle / Passing on Prayers
Make potholders using a loom and loops
Idea from Kim Trimboli (moved here to consolidate the topic)
Many churches participate in a “prayer shawl” ministry, in which knitters create shawls or blankets. During the time they are creating the shawl, the knitters pray for the person who is receiving the shawl. Shawl recipients may be ill, or in need, or having a baby, or in need of emotional support, and so on. In many prayer shawl groups, knitters pass their unfinished shawls around to each other to work on, so that many different people’s prayers are “knitted in” to each shawl. The important thing is not so much why the person is receiving the shawl, as that it is a symbol of the passing on of faith. Faith in God’s actions, faith in the power of prayer, faith shared in love. In this same way, Elijah passed his mantle on to Elisha as a way of passing on his faith and prayers and relationship with God.
Explain to the class that because knitting a prayer shawl takes a great deal of time, they will be working on prayer potholders. These potholders can be given to a particular recipient, someone the child knows that could use an expression of love, or the potholders could be a present for the church. Before they begin, each child should decide for whom he or she will pray during the project.
Demonstrate the loom and how the loops are placed on it. (The first line or two of actual weaving are the most difficult, and the time when the children are most likely to need help until it is time to remove the work from the loom.)
Once the projects are underway, lead the children in a simple prayer over their work. Every few minutes a basic prayer can be prayed while the children continue working, such as “Dear Lord, I am praying today for ___________ (each child fills in the blank). Help them to know about God’s love.”
As the potholders are completed, invite the children to fill out the gift cards with a simple message such as “This potholder was created for you. Our Sunday School class prayed for you as we worked.”
Adaptations – Younger Children
Preschool children may have a difficult time with the creation of a potholder. Easier weaving projects can be found at most craft stores or online. A plastic canvas bookmark is one possibility.
Adaptations – Older Children
Older children could work on one potholder for a while, then pass their project on to the next person, telling them the name of the person for whom they are praying.