Prayer Stations for Pentecost
Our focus was on the Holy Spirit as inspiring, comforting and encouraging us.
We began the service together, sitting in the round, with the welcome and a hymn followed by the confession. This was followed by the story, after which the children were given the opportunity to visit the prayer stations.
The adults had a Bible reading, a short talk by our ordinand and intercessions before visiting the prayer stations themselves. We came back together for the affirmation of faith, prayers and a final hymn.
We used the Godly Play story of Pentecost that includes both the story of the tower of Babel and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Acts: Chapter 2 verses 1 - 21
Station 1: The Holy Spirit: inspiring us to understand...
The display included figures from around the world. Ours were from the Godly Play story of The Good Shepherd and the World Communion. We had a basket with paper chain people, pencils and crayons.
The words were various quotes on the subject of understanding including:
"It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link. He who loves, understands and he who understands, loves. One who feels understood feels loved and one who feels loved feels sure of being understood." (Paul Tournier)
"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better." (Abraham Lincoln)
Prayer activity:Use the paper chain people and either write or draw the names of those things you would like to understand better. Some ideas are: colleagues, God, myself...
Station 2: The Holy Spirit: inspiring us to tell God's story, inspiring us to tell our own story...
A black underlay was laid on the floor with red, yellow and orange felt squares laid out upon it. A variety of stories, symbols and pictures were displayed for people to add to the display.
How easy do you find it to tell God's story? How easy do you find it to tell your own story?
What stories do you see as a key part of God's story?
Choose key stories to place on the underlay or write key stories on post it notes and add them to the board.
(The response shows the women at the tomb on Easter Day. One post it note reads "Rock" and the other reads "Gone")
Station 3: The Holy Spirit: inspiring us to build up the church
You may like to light a candle and place it on a brick as a symbol of building up the church...
Play activity:You may like to use the blocks to build a church...
Station 4: The Holy Spirit: inspiring us to share the light of God...
You may like to decorate a jam jar to use as a candle holder as a symbol of sharing the light of God...
How well did it work?
The children were keen to respond to the story and worked collaborativly to build the church, using the wooden flames to fill it with light.
Although overall there was a good balance between words, prayer and play activities, most of the stations tended to focus on only one of these. If we were doing it again, we might look at including prayer and play activities and reflective questions for each station.
This also raises questions of approach - do we encourage children and adults to briefly visit all the stations and then return to the one that appeals the most? Or do we allow them to stop at the first station to engage them?
(Working with Su Shaw)