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Thread of Faith


Kay McCoy’s faith had guided her through life’s challenges, and when she felt called to create 200 prayer shawls for Francis Street First Church’s congregation with many homebound women, she embraced the task wholeheartedly. Initially, Kay devoted her days to crocheting, weaving her prayers into each shawl’s intricate design. Each shawl has a crocheted cross on the corners.

As word of Kay’s project and the message of gratitude and healing spread throughout the Francis Street First Church, Kay began working even harder. In time, the prayer shawl ministry became a defining feature of the church community. Kay and the Nurture Team had gifted many beautifully crafted shawls to those in need, including sick and homebound community members. During the 175th Anniversary celebration in 2019, former pastors like Dr. Susan Ventura, distinguished guests such as Bishop Farr and Rev. Melissa Dodd, and the former superintendent received prayer shawls. However, the demand continued to grow, and Kay found herself in need of more yarn.

Moved by Kay’s dedication, Bud and Lynette Barr stepped in to support her in this spiritual marathon. Their generosity inspired the congregation, and soon, Kay had all the yarn she needed to complete her remaining shawls.

During the social distancing brought about by COVID-19, prayer shawls served as a divine embrace for those unable to receive visitors. 

Recently, the prayer shawl ministry distributed Kay McCoy’s latest batch to the HolyFit exercise group, a gathering of seniors seeking physical and spiritual strength. Group leader Susan Wright expressed immense gratitude for the shawls and the church’s support.

As Kay nears the end of her 2.5-year journey, she is filled with appreciation to complete her promise and crochet the remaining 23 shawls. She never anticipated that her response to God’s calling would profoundly impact her church community. Yet, as she reflects on the unity and support that emerged through the prayer shawl ministry, she is certain God brought her to Francis Street First for a reason. She does not live in St. Joseph, but she was meant to be here, making a difference in countless lives through her labor of love.