Joseph: All Age Worship with Prayer Stations
This was the first of our All Age services with prayer stations and we chose the story of Joseph, focussing on the theme of forgiveness. Although it might not have been easy, Joseph chose to forgive his brothers.
The story of Joseph, finishing the story at the point where Egypt and the surrounding lands are suffering famine, leaving the ending open.
Genesis Chapter 45: Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
Corrie forgives the German guard from her concentration camp. Extract from The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.
Station 1: A coat of many colours
Joseph's coat of many colours set him apart from his brothers. They found it hard to forgive him. They put him into a deep pit and sold him as a slave. Joseph found it hard to forgive his brothers.
Perhaps there is someone or something that you find hard to forgive. You might like to say a prayer for that situation and tie a coloured cloth onto the net as a symbol of your prayer.
You might like to colour or collage a coat of many colours...
Station 2: How does the story end?
We had a storyteller at this station to tell and discuss the ending of the story with the children. The station included a basket of corn, a sack (filled with newspapers!) and a small golden cup.
When you have heard the end of the story, you might like to take a basket and collect objects and symbols that help to tell the story.
Station 3: Stories of forgiveness
This station focussed on stories and words of forgiveness.
The stories included Christo Brand, who was one of the warders at Robben Island prison, and Vusumzi Mcongo a political prisoner serving a 12-year sentence. Following the collapse of the apartheid regime, both men worked for the Robben Island Museum in Cape Town.
Another story was that of Jo Berry's meeting with Patrick Magee, the man directly responsible for the IRA bombings that killed her father.
The quotes included: "The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world." (Marianne Williamson)
"Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again" (Dag Hammarskjold)
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." (Gandhi)
Which of these quotes best expresses how you feel about forgiveness? You may like to choose a quote to take away or you may like to choose a quote to decorate or pin onto the sheet.
How well did it work?
This service was held at the beginning of September, before the schools were back and we did not get any children. In some ways it was good to have a chance to see how the service worked without children as it enabled us to sort out some of the hitches. We found the adults were interested in looking at the stations and engaging with the prayer activities, but few read the longer material.