Garrett-Evangelical News

Seminary Student Honored, Called to Active Military Duty

Mary_HuberEvanston, IL, November 2010 - Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary students are holding a Knitting Marathon to create a prayer shawl as one of their own, Michael, is called away from his academic career to be deployed for military service.

Michael is in the final year of his Masters of Theological Studies degree, focusing on Old Testament. He has been in the Army reserves and was previously on active duty.  He was recently called to return to active duty and will not be able to complete this semester or the remainder of this his final year until his return from this tour of duty.  The shawl is intended as a gesture of love and support for Michael.

The shawl is the result of dozens of hands over the course of the last week: each person sitting down at the basket in the seminary's lobby to lift up Michael in prayer as they knit a few rows between classes. Men and women, students, faculty, family and friends have contributed to this elegant tribute to their colleague and friend. In the words of fellow seminarian and friend, Mary Jane Huber (pictured here), “We wish him well, but we are also looking forward to his safe return very soon.”

Even those who do not know how to knit have contributed to the shawl: non knitters have taught one another to crochet the purple fringe at the end of the knitted portions. A card posted by the designated “knitting chair” documents the warm wishes and prayers woven into the shawl by friends and colleagues.

This shawl is the product of an ongoing knitting ministry at Garrett-Evangelical where prayer shawls and other projects are worked on in this communal manner.  Prayer shawls of various kinds are a tradition in many religious faiths.  Among Christians, prayer shawls are a reminder of love and support to be found in the embrace of community.  The shawl will be dedicated to Michael in a ceremony on Thursday, November 18th at 11:15 a.m. in the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful on the campus of Garrett-Evangelical.  The ceremony is open to the public.

Garrett-Evangelical, founded in 1853, is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church.  Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction.  Garrett-Evangelical offers degrees for the master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry.  Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.