Friday, March 2, 2012

Preparing a Prayer Chapel

My pastor asked me to create a prayer chapel in a room at the back of the sanctuary.  The back part of the sanctuary is a wall with windows and doors and on the other side of the wall, the chunks of space are evenly divided into a nursery/cry room, a vestibule where people are greeted, and a room that is called a choir room but has turned into a bit of a storage room.  I'll be converting part of the choir room to a prayer chapel.

I've had fun thinking about possibilities.  If we have any sort of kneeler, I don't know about it.  So, I decided to use a card table that we have.  I'll provide colored paper and pens--people can write their prayers and put them into the big red jar that will be on the table.

That still leaves a lot of table space.  I thought about all sorts of things:  a fountain, a collection of crosses and crucifixes, pictures that would put people in a meditative space.

I decided on a collection of river rocks which are slightly bigger than worry stones.  On each, I wrote a word, words like hope, joy, calm, peace.  I thought they might spark people's ideas about what they need and what they'd like God to provide.

I don't want people to take the stones with them, but I know that people might want something to remind them of the prayer chapel experience.  I had a lot of glassy stones left over from a fountain project (see this post for pictures and details).  I drew a cross on each and put them in a bowl.

I'll be writing prayer prompts and directions so that the prayer chapel is self-explaining.  I'll post those along with pictures in a later post here.

Last night, as I drew crosses on the glassy stones, I thought about what a soothing experience that was.  I thought about smudging foreheads on Ash Wednesday, also a soothing experience.  What is it about making that shape?

I've had a lot of fun planning this project.  It will be interesting to see if anyone uses it, but on some level, I don't care one way or another.  The process has been a delight for me.  It's a creativity lesson I learned long ago.  The finished product is less important  than the process and what becomes of the finished product is even less important.

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