PRAYER IN NATURE
Spring has arrived, and with it there are many signs of resurrection surrounding us. Flowers blooming, trees budding, animals stirring. If you are able, I hope that you are finding some time to enjoy being outside (even if we do have to take some allergy medicine to help us through!) Remember that there is a lovely prayer labyrinth and outdoor chapel on the church grounds. You are welcome to stop by and use them for personal prayer. If there are others present, please respect their space and practice social distancing. Also, note that outside surfaces are not being sanitized. Where you pray isn’t as important as making time to pray. As I shared during my Lenten sermon series – be mindful of God’s presence in the here and now, and surely you will experience God’s abundant life. – Pastor Anita
P.S. Here is the guide for using the labyrinth to take a spiritual journey, first made available after its dedication last Easter….
Journey Through Ivey’s Prayer Labyrinth
Our prayer labyrinth is an opportunity for personal prayer and spiritual meditation. The walk is a form of prayer that involves walking a line that goes unerringly from the outside into the center and then back out again.
The big question is how to experience this form of prayer that has been practiced for centuries. Guideposts suggest four ways to get started.
1. Ask God a question when entering the labyrinth. As you slowly walk and step on each stone, listen for an answer. Let your steps and silence invite the presence and guidance of God;
2. Start your journey with a confession, visualizing sins being left behind with every step taken. When you reach the center, journey out with affirmation, perhaps visualizing putting on the smile of the righteousness of Christ, the smile of the Father, or the purity of the Holy Spirit. Pause at the end and give thanks for your journey;
3. Recite a breath prayer as you navigate the labyrinth, perhaps praying a different prayer every few steps. A breath prayer is a short, simple prayer that can be spoken in a single breath; or
4. Lay down your burdens as you walk to the center of the labyrinth, perhaps laying pebbles along the way as symbols of your worries or cares. In the center, pause to thank God for taking your burdens on himself. Then count your blessings as you collect your pebbles on the journey to the exit.
These are just a few suggestions for taking a dedicated journey for prayer and meditation. All are encouraged to enjoy this moving meditation, where you're praying not by sitting still, but by setting your heart and mind upon God as you walk.
Food Pantry: Cereal, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Spaghetti 1 lb boxes, Canned Pasta Sauce, Syrup, Pancake Mix, Rice, Shampoo, Conditioner, Soap, Hamburger Helper, Sugar, Canned Tuna, Pudding and Fruit Cups are needed. Please bring your donations and leave them in the food pantry bucket located in the Narthex. Specifically, we request easy things for children to fix for themselves.
Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is looking for volunteers to help with distributing food or picking up items from the grocery store. If you can help or would like more information, please contact Bernadette Gilmore, 804-914-0293.
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Click below for access to The Upper Room daily devotional guide.