“Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord….”
Collect for All Saints’ Day, From the Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 245
We are all in one big knitting guild. That is the message of my newest novel, The Knitting Guild of All Saints. Whether you knit well or not, knit a lot or only sporadically, you are part of a community of knitters that all share something in common and are woven together by the practice of knitting – just like the mystical Body of Christ that is the Church.
In my first book in this series, The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, we see community formed around the ministry of knitting and gifting prayer shawls. These prayer shawls are made with love, knitted or crocheted to show someone that a community of believers cares about them, prays about them, and surrounds them in love like a big warm blanket. In this novel, unlikely friendships form, and romances are sparked. People both within and on the margins of the fictional All Saints Church are enfolded in the love and prayers of this community of faith.
In The Knitting Guild of All Saints, the second novel in this series, the community expands far beyond the fictional Episcopal church at the heart of the action. The “Rogue Knitting Guild” formed in the first book takes off as a ministry all its own, with a surprising and highly unlikely new leader. New prayer shawl guilds are formed in churches far way and even poolside in Florida. Familiar characters from Book One find themselves in unlikely new situations. And, of course, an unlikely romance begins between two new characters.
The words etched above the altar in the seminary chapel I attended said, “Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel.” That’s what the characters in my new novel do – whether they realize it or not, whether they want to or not. Going out into the world is hard. You may not want to go. You may not have intended to go. You might be quite content to stay right where you are, in your own comfortable little group.
But that’s not what usually happens in the Christian journey. As we pass the light of Christ to others, we’re required to go out and share this light in the darkness. We may find this scary. We may find new love. We may find ourselves in a new situation more wonderful than we ever imagined possible. But we won’t find this wonderful new life unless we “take the dare” and go out into the world.
I hope you enjoy my new novel. I try hard to keep the plot going and the characters interesting and even humorous at times. Whether you’re a regular churchgoer, a non-churchgoer, a skeptic, or even an ordained person, I hope you also find this book thought-provoking and maybe even a little bit challenging. (I am in the Christian formation business, after all!) Above all, I hope you join my characters in their new journeys, walking in their shoes for just a bit and seeing the world from their perspectives. Isn’t that what reading is all about?
Many blessings! Cindy
Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles and its sequel, The Knitting Guild of All Saints. She is an honors graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and The University of Tennessee College of Law. She lives and writes in Knoxville, Tennessee. You may visit her Author Page and browse all her published books at this link.